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Bicknell [née Younger], Margaret (1681–1723), actress and dancer, was born on 11 November 1681 in Edinburgh, the daughter of James Younger, a soldier, and his wife, Margaret Keith. Both of her parents were born in Scotland. She was the elder sister of the actress and dancer ...

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Hester Booth (c. 1690–1773) by John Ellys private collection. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Booth [née Santlow], Hester (c. 1690–1773), actress and dancer, was born about 1690. Very little is known about her parents and family background, although her mother, Jane (or Joanna), died in April 1724. She was apprenticed to the dancing-master René Cherrier, probably in 1704, and made her début as a dancer at ...

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Bulkley [née Wilford; other married name Barrisford], Mary (1747/8?–1792), dancer and actress, was the daughter of Edward Wilford (d. 1789), a minor official at Covent Garden. Wilford's sister Priscilla Steevens had in 1744 married John Rich, the proprietor of Covent Garden Theatre...

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Campion, Mary Anne (c. 1687–1706), singer and dancer, was born of lowly parents, her father having possibly been a servant of William Cavendish, first duke of Devonshire. She displayed a precocious talent on the stage; aged eleven, she was a member of Christopher Rich's...

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See Cary, Anne [name in religion Clementia]

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Phyllis Selina Dixey (1914–1964) by unknown photographer, 1940 © Getty Images

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Dixey, Phyllis Selina (1914–1964), variety and striptease artiste, was born on 10 February 1914 at 330 Kingston Road, Merton, Surrey, the second child of Ernest Dixey (1891–1972), ship's steward and later railway attendant, from Sevenoaks, Kent, and his wife, (Phyllis) Selina (1891–1978), daughter of ...

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See Ritchard, Cyril Joseph

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Fransiska Elssler (1810–1884) by John Hayter, 1843 © Copyright The British Museum

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Elssler, Fransiska [Fanny] (1810–1884), dancer, was born in a suburb of Vienna, Austria, on 23 June 1810, the seventh of the nine children of Johann Florian Elssler (1769–1843), valet and copyist to Haydn, and his wife, Theresia Prinster (1779–1832), an embroideress. Many stories circulated about her youth, the veracity of which cannot be established, among them that ...

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Gallini, Sir John Andrew [formerly Giovanni Andrea Battista Gallini] (1728–1805), dancer and theatre manager, was born in Florence, Italy, on 7 January 1728. He was trained in Paris by François Marcel and emigrated to England at an unknown date, though he had been performing at the ...

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Eva Maria Garrick (1724–1822) by William Hogarth, 1757 [The Garricks: and David Garrick (1717-1779)] The Royal Collection © 2004 HM Queen Elizabeth II

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Garrick [née Veigel], Eva Maria [performing name Violette] (1724–1822), dancer, is best-known as the wife of David Garrick (1717–1779), whom she married on 22 June 1749. She was born into a Roman Catholic family in Vienna, the daughter of Johann Veigel...

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Danny La Rue (1927–2009) by Reg Wilson, 2002 © Reg Wilson / Rex Features

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La Rue, Danny [real name Daniel Patrick Carroll] (1927–2009), entertainer, was born at 10 Horgans Buildings, Cork, Ireland, on 26 July 1927, the youngest of five children of Thomas (Tom) Carroll (b. 1895), carpenter and cabinet-maker, and his wife, Mary Ann, ...

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Laban, Rudolf Jean-Baptiste Attila (1879–1958), dancer and dance theoretician, who developed a comprehensive system of movement notation, was born on 15 December 1879 at Donaulande 12, Bratislava, in the Austro-Hungarian empire, the first among the four children of Field Marshal Rudolf von Laban...

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Meyer, Laverne Ignatius Henry (1935–2008), dancer and choreographer, was born on 1 February 1935, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, one of seven children of Lincoln Meyer, farmer, and his wife, Cora, née Voll. A childhood enthusiasm for dancing from watching films starring Fred Astaire...

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Poitier [married names Vernon, Thompson], Jane Henrietta (b. 1736, d. in or after 1788), singer and dancer, was born in the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, on 8 June 1736, the daughter of the French theatre dancer Michael Poitier (d...

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Priest, Josias (d. 1734/5), dancer and boarding-school proprietor, was almost certainly a performer on the London stage from at least 1667, when Mr Priest danced a ‘Tony’, or fool, in act v of Dryden's comedy Sir Martin Mar-All and the end of the play was '...