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Badham, Molly Winifred (1914–2007), zoo proprietor and conservationist, was born on 12 May 1914 at 3 Waterside, Evesham, Worcestershire, the daughter of Arthur James Badham (1889–1965), then a boot shop assistant and later a homeopath, and his wife, Edith Annie, née Sharp (1889–1980)...

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Bedingfeild [née Draper], Anne (1560–1641), theatre landlord and benefactor, was born in August 1560, the daughter of John Draper (d. 1576) and his wife, Margery, née Wilkes (d. 1600/01), of the parish of St Dunstan-in-the-West, London. Her father was a rich city brewer who owned various freehold properties in the ...

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Cons, Emma (1838–1912), social reformer and theatre manager, was born in London on 4 March 1838, the second daughter in the family of seven children of Frederick Cons (1810–1870), piano-case maker for Broadwoods, and his wife, Esther Goodair (d. 1882), daughter of a ...

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Conti, Italia Emily Stella (1873–1946), actress and founder of the Italia Conti academy of theatre arts, was born on 9 September 1873 at 265 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, the eldest child of Luigi Conti (d. 1884), lyric singer, and his wife, Emily Mary (1844–1914)...

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Michaela Denis (1914–2003) by Thurston Hopkins, 1952 Getty Images

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Denis [née Holdsworth], Michaela [other married name Michaela Lindsay, Lady Lindsay] (1914–2003), writer and wildlife film-maker, is thought to have been born in London on 28 August 1914. According to her own account she was an only child, as her father, whom she described as an archaeologist from ...

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Dutton, Emily Courtier- [known as Mrs Charles L. Carson; performing name Kittie Claremont] (1862?–1919), theatrical philanthropist, was, according to the age recorded on her death certificate, born in 1862 or 1863, though other sources point to dates as early as 1852/3 (...

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Elsie Fogerty (1865–1945) by Reginald Grenville Eves, 1937 © reserved; reproduced by courtesy of Central School of Speech and Drama, Embassy Theatre, London

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Fogerty, Elsie (1865–1945), founder and principal of the Central School of Speech and Drama, was born at Sydenham, London, on 16 December 1865, the daughter of Joseph Fogerty (d. 1899), engineer and architect, of Dublin, and his wife, Hannah Cochrane (d...

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Gray [married name Rix], Elspet Jeans MacGregor-, Lady Rix [known as Elspet Gray] (1929–2013), actress and charity campaigner, was born on 12 April 1929 at 35 Southside Road, Inverness, the daughter of James MacGregor-Gray (1896–1954), bank official, and his wife, Elspet Eleanor, ...

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Kelly, Mary Elfreda (1888–1951), founder of the Village Drama Society, was born on 25 March 1888 at Salcombe vicarage, Devon, the second of the four children of the Revd Maitland Kelly (1842–1929), from 1900 squire of Kelly, Devon, and his second wife, Elfreda Blanche Carey (...

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Carla Lane (1928–2016), by Murray Sanders, 1999

Murray Sanders/Daily Mail/Shutterstock

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Lane, Carla [real name Roma Barrack] (1928–2016), television scriptwriter and animal rights campaigner, was born on 5 August 1928 at the Walton Hospital, 107 Rice Lane, Walton, Liverpool, the daughter of Gordon De Vince (DeVinci) Barrack (1907–1970), a steward in the merchant navy, born in ...

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Lipton [married name Farris], Cecilia May [Celia] (1923–2011), singer, actress, and philanthropist, was born on 25 December 1923 at 73 Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh, the only child of Sidney (later Sydney) John Lipton (1904–1995), violinist and band leader, and his wife, May Johnston, ...

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Claire Berenice Rayner (1931–2010) by Eamonn McCabe, 2002 © Eamonn McCabe

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Rayner [née Berkovitch], Claire Berenice (1931–2010), writer, broadcaster, and social campaigner, was born at 24 Underwood Street, Stepney, London, on 22 January 1931, the eldest daughter of Percy (later Peter) Berkovitch (1909–1982), journeyman tailor, and his wife, Betty, née Dion (1910–1982). The family moved around a lot, mostly dodging the bailiffs, before the start of the Second World War. In 1940 ...

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Elizabeth Robins (1862–1952) by W. & D. Downey, pubd 1893 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Robins, Elizabeth (1862–1952), actress, writer, and feminist, was born at East Walnut Street, Louisville, Kentucky, on 6 August 1862, the eldest daughter of Charles Ephraim Robins (1832–1893), insurance broker and banker, and his cousin and wife, Hannah Maria Crow (1836–1901). Childhood was punctuated by family deaths and dissension. Her half-brother died in adolescence, and one of four brothers died in infancy, as did a sister (the other died aged twenty). The birth of her youngest brother, ...