June 18, 2013

Gabrielle Ray (née Elizabeth Clifford Cook, 1883-1973), English musical comedy dancer and actress
(photo: Bassano, London, probably 1909)

‘Miss Gabrielle Ray, whose dainty dancing and fascinating manner have made her one of the most popular of musical comedy actresses, has become engaged to Mr Eric Loder, a young member of [one] of the most distinguished families in England (says “Lloyd’s News” of January 14 [1912]).
‘He is wealthy, aged 23, younger son of the late Mr Alfred Loder, grandson of the late Sir Robert Loder, first baronet, and younger brother of Mr Basil Loder, who four years ago resigned his commission of the Scots Guards, and married Miss Barbara Deane, one of the most charming singers in Mr Seymour Hicks’s “Gay Gordons” company.
‘No date has yet been fixed for the marriage. Both are now spending a holiday in Paris, and Mr Loder has been to see several plays with Miss Ray.
‘Miss Gabrielle Ray, who was described in the “Temps” the other day as the prettiest actress on the English stage, and the most beautiful woman in England, is 26. She first appeared on the boards as a child of 10 at the old Princess’s Theatre. Subsequently she played other child parts, including Cupid in “Little Red Riding Hood” at Richmond. Her chance came [in a touring production of ] “The Belle of New York,” which [first] took London by storm in [1898] at the Shaftesbury Theatre when that house had come to be regarded as an unlucky one.
‘She played Mamie Clancy, and doubtless much of her insouciant but captivating ways which are now characteristic of her developed as she played in “The Belle” on tour during two years. She was Miss Gertie Millar’s understudy in “The Toreador” during its long run at the Gaiety, and after going to “The Girl from Kay’s,” returned to the Gaiety in “The Orchid.” ‘After that she was a leading feature of most of Mr Geo. Edwardes’s subsequent successes, notably, in the scene from Maxim’s in [the first London production of] “The Merry Widow.” In the last Gaiety production, “Peggy,” she was one of the trio of beauties. [The others were Phyllis Dare and Olive May]
‘She is now the picture postcard favorite and has already surpassed the vogue formerly enjoyed by Marie Studholme and Edna May. One photograph company has taken her in no less than a thousand poses, and over 10,000 copies have been sold of her dressed as Millais’s “Bubbles,” a picture to which her child’s face was singularly adapted.’
(West Gippsland Gazette, Warragul, Victoria, Australia, Tuesday, 30 April 1912, p. 3d)


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