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Sophia Baddeley (1745?–1786) by Johan Zoffany [as Fanny Sterling, with Robert Baddeley (right) as Canton and Thomas King (centre) as Lord Ogleby, in The Clandestine Marriage by George Coleman the elder and David Garrick] Garrick Club; the art archive

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Baddeley [née Snow], Sophia (bap. 1744, d. 1786), actress and singer, was baptized on 12 October 1744 at St Mary-at-Lambeth, the daughter of Valentine Snow (d. 1770) and his wife, Mary, and not in the parish of St Margaret, Westminster, in 1745, as stated in ...

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Elizabeth Bannister (1757–1849) by John Russell, 1799 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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 '...

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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

Berry, Edward (1706/7–1760), actor and singer, made his first recorded appearance on the London stage at Drury Lane on 6 February 1729 as Hobinol in Charles Johnson's The Village Opera. For five seasons Berry was employed as a singing actor, primarily in the new genre of ballad opera. Unsuited by his large, heavy build and low-pitched voice for romantic leads, he played character roles such as Squire Clodpole in ...

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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

Bowman, John (d. 1739), singer and actor, was said to have been born at Pillerton, Warwickshire, on 27 December 1664, the son of John Bowman. However, he was stated to be in his eighty-eighth year when he died, implying that he was born in 1651 or 1652. His early stage career indicates a birth date of ...

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Ann Catley (1745–1789) by William Evans, pubd 1807 (after William Lawranson, in or before 1777) [as Euphrosyne in Comus, music by Thomas Arne] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Cibber [née Shore], Catherine (bap. 1669, d. 1734), singer and actress, was baptized on 24 October 1669 at St Bartholomew-the-Great, London, the daughter of Matthias Shore (d. 1700) and his wife, Ann (d. 1677). Matthias Shore became sergeant-trumpeter to the king in 1687 and was succeeded in the post by his sons ...

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Cross, Letitia (bap. 1682?, d. 1737), singer and actress, was, according to a statement in 1712, the daughter of Ann Cross; she may have been the daughter of Leonard and Ann Cross baptized on 6 March 1682 at St Martin's, Dorking, Surrey. A prologue which she spoke in spring 1696 included the words '...

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Evans, Rudolph Bayfield [Rudy] [performing name André de Dakar] (1897–1987), singer, actor, and entrepreneur, was born at Monkey Hill, Panama, on 23 February 1897, the eighth son and ninth of the ten children of Edward John Rhodes Evans (b. 1853), a land and property owner, and his wife, ...

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Lavinia Fenton, duchess of Bolton (1710–1760) by John Faber junior, 1728 (after John Ellys) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Fontenelle, Louisa [known as Mrs Williamson] (1769–1799), actress and singer, was born on 31 August 1769 in the parish of St Margaret, Lothbury, London, the daughter of John Fontenell and his wife, Ann. After receiving a boarding-school education designed to fit her for the life of a respectable tradesman's wife, the lively girl became set on a stage career and made her début at ...

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George, Georgina [known as Mrs Oldmixon] (d. 1835), singer and actress, was born in Oxford, the daughter of Tobias George. She was sometimes described as coming from the pipe office, Oxford, so her father may have been a clerk employed in connection with the sheriff's accounts for ...

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Johnson, Don [real name James Macdonald John] (1911–1994), singer and actor, was born on 3 February 1911 at 2 Thomas Terrace, Working Street, Cardiff, the second son in the family of four sons and two daughters of Elvin John (c.1872–1924)...

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Knipp, Elizabeth [Mary] (d. 1680x82), actress and singer, performed with the King's Company in London shortly after the Restoration. Nothing is known of her before then. Her first name may have been either Elizabeth (as she appears on a lord chancellor's warrant of 1672) or ...

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Maker: Gainsborough Dupont

Margaret Martyr (1761/22–1807) by Gainsborough Dupont, 1794 [as Euphrosyne in Comus by George Colman the elder] Garrick Club / the art archive

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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...

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Isabella Mattocks (1746–1826) by Gainsborough Dupont, c. 1793–4 [as Catherine in Catherine and Petruchio by David Garrick] Garrick Club / the art archive