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Actor, director, and author Jessie Nores Haas was born in 1887 in Missouri. Haas's theater career began in 1910 in Los Angeles, where she went to work for the Ferris Hartman Opera Company. Over the next nine years, she traveled up and down the West Coast, performing in vaudeville shows.
In 1919, she moved from Portland to Seattle with her husband, Saul Haas, whom she had married earlier that year. He worked as a reporter for The Union Record Chronicle. Later, he was director of customs for two terms under President Franklin Roosevelt. He started KIRO radio and KIRO television. The couple were divorced during World War II.
After marriage and moving to Seattle, Jessie Haas became active in Seattle's theater community. Over the next half-century, she acted with many of the city's theater companies, including A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and the Cirque Dinner Theatre, where she played for 26 years in 36 productions. She performed on stage until she was 89, and continued to attend performances and support theaters well after her 100th birthday. For a time in the 1940s, she was also a columnist for The Capitol Hill Times.
Haas was known for her idealism, energy, and zest for life. Her last project was regularly writing world leaders, encouraging them to declare one hour of peace worldwide and dedicate it to all the planet's 10-year-old children. She said: "Poor little Earth planet. I've just got to fix it so that we have peace on Earth."
Jessie Nore Haas lived alone in her Capitol Hill home for decades. She died in 1991 at the age of 103.
Biographical features, correspondence, diaries, notebooks, legal and financial records, subject files, manuscripts of writings and poetry, photographs, posters, clippings, published material, ephemera.
Contents document Jessie Haas' longtime participation in and devotion to the Seattle theatrical community.
Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.