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Baddeley [née Snow], Sophia (1745?–1786), actress and singer, was born, according to her friend and biographer Elizabeth Steele, in the parish of St Margaret, Westminster, in 1745, the daughter of the trumpeter Valentine Snow (d. 1770). Her baptism is not recorded in the register of ...

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Bannister [née Harper], Elizabeth (1757–1849), actress and singer, was, according to the encomium in the Thespian Magazine (1793), the daughter of a Mrs Harpur, 'now a mantua-maker [dressmaker] at Bath', who, having made a marriage disapproved of by her family, educated her daughter perforce 'to her business' (...

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Bracegirdle, Anne (bap. 1671, d. 1748), actress and singer, was born in Northamptonshire, the third surviving daughter of Martha, née Furniss, and Justinian Bracegirdle, 'Coachman, Coachmaker or Letter-out of Coaches', according to her admirer Anthony Aston (Aston, 8). Family wills reveal that surviving siblings were named ...

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Cargill [née Brown], Ann (c. 1760–1784), singer and actress, was the daughter of Edward Brown, a London coal merchant. She made her début as a child, singing Titania in George Colman's The Fairy Prince, with music by Arne (Covent Garden, 12 November 1771), and then played Sally, the naughty little sister, in ...

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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

Catley, Ann (1745–1789), singer and actress, was born in an alley off Tower Hill, London, the daughter of a washerwoman and a hackney coachman, Robert Catley. According to The Life and Memoirs of the Late Miss Ann Catley (1789–90) she was a pretty and sexually precocious girl who earned money singing at public houses and to officers at the ...

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Chevalier, Albert Onésime Britannicus Gwathveoyd Louis (1861–1923), comedian and actor, was born on 21 March 1861 at 21 St Ann's Villas, Royal Crescent, Notting Hill, London, the eldest son of Jean Onésime Chevalier, language teacher, and his wife, Ellen Louisa Mathews; his name at birth was registered simply as ...

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Cibber [née Arne], Susannah Maria (1714–1766), actress and singer, was born on 14 February 1714 at 34 King Street, Covent Garden, London, the fourth child of the eight children of Thomas Arne (bap. 1682, d. 1736) [see under Arne family], an upholsterer and undertaker, and his wife, ...

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Collins, Josephine [José] (1887–1958), actress and singer, was born on 23 May 1887 in Whitechapel, London, the illegitimate daughter of Joseph Van den Berg, a professor of music, and Charlotte Louisa (Lottie) Collins (1865–1910), an actress, singer, and dancer. Lottie Collins was a flamboyantly successful music-hall artist who popularized the song ...

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Connor, Edric Esclus (1913–1968), actor and singer, was born on 2 August 1913 in the village of Mayaro, Trinidad, the son of Edwin Connor, shoemaker and small farmer. At sixteen he won a scholarship from the Trinidad government railway to study engineering at the ...

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Dove, Evelyn Mary (1902–1987), singer and actress, was born on 11 January 1902 at the Lying-in Hospital, Endell Street, London, the daughter of Francis Dove (d. 1949), a barrister born in Sierra Leone, and his English wife, Augusta, née Winchester. Francis Dove...

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Edwin, John, the elder (1749–1790), actor and singer, was born on 10 August 1749 at Clare Market, St Clement Danes, London, the eldest of the three children of John Edwin, a watchmaker, and his wife, Hannah, the daughter of Henry Brogden, a sculptor of statues in ...

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Fenton [née Besswick; married name Powlett or Paulet], Lavinia, duchess of Bolton (1710–1760), actress and singer, was born on 7 October 1710 and baptized at St Margaret Westminster on 22 October as Lavinia Besswick, daughter of Peter and Elizabeth. According to The Life of Lavinia Beswick, alias Fenton, alias Polly Peachum...

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Formby, George [real name George Hoy Booth] (1904–1961), music-hall entertainer and actor, was born at 3 Westminster Street, Wigan, Lancashire, on 26 May 1904, the eldest of the seven surviving children (four girls and three boys) of James Lawler Booth (1875–1922), music-hall entertainer, and his wife, ...

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Grant, Cyril Ewart Lionel [Cy] (1919–2010), actor and singer, was born on 8 November 1919 in Beterverwagting, Demerera, British Guiana, the son of Henry William Grant, a Moravian minister. His mother was a music teacher. 'I was brought up in a typically colonial way', he later said, 'singing ...

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Holloway, Stanley Augustus (1890–1982), actor and singer, was born on 1 October 1890 at 30 Wentworth Road, Manor Park, London, the younger child and only son of George Augustus Holloway, a law clerk, and his wife, Florence Bell. His family was fairly prosperous and he attended the ...

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Charles Kent

revised by J. Gilliland

Kelly, Frances Maria [Fanny] (1790–1882), actress and singer, was born at Brighton on 15 October or 15 December 1790. Her father was Mark Kelly (1767–1833), originally from Dublin, where he was master of ceremonies at Dublin Castle. Mark Kelly was one of a very large family, a minor actor who had a varied career, including service in the ...

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Lillie, Beatrice Gladys [married name Beatrice Gladys Peel, Lady Peel] (1894–1989), actress and singer, was born on 29 May 1894 in Toronto, the younger daughter (there were no sons) of John Lillie, cigar seller, of Lisburn in Ireland, and his wife, Lucie Ann...

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Lind, Letty [real name Letitia Elizabeth Rudge] (1861–1923), actress and dancer, was born Letitia Elizabeth Rudge on 21 December 1861, at her father's residence, Back 159, Irving Street, Birmingham. Letty was the eldest daughter in the family of five daughters and three sons of ...

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Lucas, Isabelle Harriet (1927–1997), singer and actress, was born on 3 December 1927 in Toronto, Canada, the daughter of Arnold Augustus Lucas, a Barbadian chef who worked on the Canadian Pacific Railway, and his wife, Irene, née Dabney, a church organist and choir mistress. In 1954 she travelled to ...

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Martyr [née Thornton], Margaret (1761/2–1807), singer and actress, was the daughter of Mr Thornton, a London tailor, and his wife, Margaret (d. 1788). A pupil of James Hook, she sang his music at Vauxhall Gardens in the summers of 1778–80. Miss Thornton...