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Dolly Dombey

August 3, 2013

Dolly Dombey (1887-1967), English musical comedy actress/chorus girl
(photo: Rita Martin, London, circa 1909)

Dolly Dombey, whose real name was Florence Newton, was born in Lambeth, London, in 1887. In 1909 she married Fred J. Blackman (1879-1951), a former actor and theatrical producer who from 1907 to 1921 was in charge of all tours of the productions originating at Daly’s Theatre, London, including The Merry Widow and The Dollar Princess. For the next five or six years he produced various musical shows in London, including The Lady of the Rose with Phyllis Dare in the leading role (Daly’s, 1922) and Katja the Dancer (Gaiety, 1925). In 1927 the couple emigrated with their three children, Joan, Timothy and Barabra, to Australia where Blackman worked in a similar capacity for Williamson & Tait Ltd.

Miss Dombey was one of a number of bit-part actresses who were well-known to London audiences who favoured musicals during the years immediately preceding the First World War. She appeared during the runs of the following productions: The Merry Widow (Daly’s, 8 June 1907); The Dollar Princess (Daly’s, 25 September 1909); The Quaker Girl (Adelphi, 5 November 1910); The Count of Luxembourg (Daly’s, 20 May 1911); The Marriage Market (Daly’s, 17 May 1913); and a revival of A Country Girl (Daly’s, 28 October 1914). Her final appearance was as Lady Mendie in succession to Therese Mills in A Southern Maid (Daly’s, 18 May 1920).

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