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 Isabella McQuaide Hoopes  (1893 - 1987)

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Lived/Active: New Jersey      Known for: dogs in landscape

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Biography from Southold Historical Society:
ISABELLA MCQUAIDE HOOPES (April 21, 1893 - August 7, 1987).  Actress, dog handler, animal painter. 

Born in New Jersey, Isabella Hoopes married salesman Percy Marion Hoopes (November 4, 1884 - August 3, 1961) a native of Pennsylvania.  In her early life she was an actress in silent films (c. 1913).

She and her husband moved to Little Neck, Long Island, New York in 1914 not long after their marriage.  Though always surrounded by dogs as a child, Ms. Hoopes never had her own dogs until after her marriage.  She was one of the earliest women in America to become a professional dog handler, achieving that position in 1929 at the age of 36.

She and her husband began the "Saddlerock Kennel," named for a rock that is located in Little Neck Bay off of the coast in Long Island Sound.  One of the most successful kennels of its time, the name appeared more than 1,000 times in various dog show catalogs.  For over 54 years there was always a "Saddlerock" entry at the Westminster Dog Show.  The kennel, which handled many different breeds during its existence, won gold medals at the National Beagle Club in 1942 and 1943.

In addition to her successes in the canine field, she was also an accomplished actress on Broadway and television.  She and her husband returned to Pennsylvania in 1939 where Isabella began performing at the Playhouse at New Hope, Pennsylvania.  She began touring soon after, and made her Broadway debut in 1952 in "The High Ground."  Performing came naturally, and she soon was appearing with the likes of Rosalind Russell (1907-1976) in "Wonderful Town," "Show Boat," and "Saratoga."  She also starred in the television cult-classic series Dark Shadows (1966-1971) as Edith Collins.  Her work earned her entry into two important publications; Who's Who in Hollywood, 1900-1976 (Published 1976), and Who's Who in Hollywood, The largest cast of international film personalities ever assembled (published 1992).  Her last known performance was in the film "Grace Quigley" with noted actress Katherine Hepburn (1907-2003) in 1984.

Ever versatile, in addition to all these achievements she was also an accomplished painter in oil of dogs, not surprising considering her long association with canines.  Paintings by Isabella Hoopes are uncommon, but are known to have included "Trefoil," a pointer, painted in 1941, as well as other works.  Her paintings are usually defined by attention to the details of canine anatomy and structure, with subjects placed in impressionistic landscapes.  Her early works are sometime signed " I. McQ. Hoopes."  Isabella McQuaide Hoopes died in 1987 at the age of 94 and is buried in the Zion Episcopal Churchyard in Douglaston, Queens, New York.

Written and submitted by Geoffrey K. Fleming, Director
Southold Historical Society, Southold, New York

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