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David Belasco was a theatrical producer, impresario, director, and playwright from the 1870s to the 1930s. He was one of the most important people ever in early American theater. He was the first writer to adapt the short story Madame Butterfly for the stage, and he launched the theatrical career of many actors including James O'Neill, Mary Pickford (he is believed to have given her her stage name), Lenore Ulric, and Barbara Stanwyck. He passed away in 1931 at the age of 77.
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