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Iris Hoey

May 5, 2013

Iris Hoey (1885-1979), English stand and screen actress
(photo: Dover Street Studios, London, circa 1906)
‘London, Aug. 9 [1907]. – Mad infatuation for Iris Hoey, an actress, led Shirley Fackle [i.e. Shirley Douglas Falcke], 18 years of age, son of a wealthy stock broker to attempt suicide by shooting himself while riding in a hansom cab with the firl, from whom he was about to be separated – almost an exact duplication of the tragedy, when Caesar Young killed himself while riding in a hansom cab with Nan Patterson, a New York actress. He is now in a hospital and may die.
‘for several months the young man has been infatuated with Miss Hoey – no kin to ”Old Hoss” – whom he met casually in a Strang restaurant [i.e. a restaurant in the Strand, London].
‘he followed her to her boarding house, leaving his own home, took rooms in the same house as the actress.
‘Fackle was employed in the Anglo-Egyptian bank and neglected his business, giving all his time to the company of Miss Hoey.
‘he followed her about England and his parents tried desperately to break the attachment.
‘On one occasion his father wrote to the actress, ”Art you the woman who has taken my baby boy away? I will have you kicked out of every theatre in London.”
‘Father Calls Halt.
‘Finally Fackle’s father decided to send him to Canada to force him away from Miss Hoey. It was this resolve that led to the shooting.
‘He called on the actress and had tea with her, so melancholy that he could hardly talk.
”’He then asked me to spend his last evening in London with him” said Miss Hoey, and after supper he told her that he intended to commit suicide.
”’I tried to laugh this off, but he said he was in earnest, but I could not believe it.
”’He drove me home in a cab. All the while he was very downhearted and said:
””This is the last time I shall see you for I mean to do what I have said.”’
‘She Couldn’t Prevent It.
”’I then realized for the first time that he was in earnest, and I refused to let him go home alone.
”’I jumped back into the cab after him and insisted upon taking him to his father’s house.
”’he was still lamenting the fact that he was very unhappy, and that this was the last time he would see me.
”’I did not know he had a revolver with him. When I found it out I held his hands to try to keep him from shooting himself.
”’Suddenly he succeeded in tearing one hand away and I saw the glitter of the revolver. The fire followed, the cab stopped, and Mr. Fackle, who had fallen down in a heap in the cab, was lifted up by a policeman. I was assisted by a lady and gentleman who were passing at the time. Mr. Fackle exclaimed to the policeman, ‘I have done it all myself.’
”’I was delirious for a time, but I remember going to the hospital in a cab. I was in a semi-conscious condition all the time.”’
(Albuquerque Evening Citizen, Albuquerque, Tuesday, 12 August 1907, p. 3b/c)

Shirley Douglas Falcke (1889-1957), dealer in art and art critic, was a grandson of David Falcke (1816-1866), a well-known antiques dealer of Bond Street, London, who retired in 1858 and whose collection of works of art was sold in an 18 day sale at Christie’s, beginning Monday, 19 April that year.

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