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Peggy Kurton in Mr Manhatten, Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, 1916

September 13, 2013

Peggy Kurton (1895-1977), English musical comedy actress and singer, as she appeared as Evelyn in Mr Manhattan, the musical play with Raymond Hitchcock in the lead, which was produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, on 30 March 1916
(photo: Bertram Park, London, 1916)

Peggy Kurton, who until about the beginning of 1914 was known professionally by her real name of Gladys Kurton, was born in Bristol on 4 May 1895. She was the only child of Edgar Augustus Kurton (1870-1926) and his wife Sarah Ann Amelia Kurton (née Pettey, 1876-1937), who separated in 1904, although her father had a son in 1908 with his then partner, Beatrice Budd. Mrs Kurton filed for divorce in 1909, which the following year was denied.

Miss Kurton made her first appearance at the Adelphi Theatre, London, on 19 October 1912 in the chorus of The Dancing Mistress. She afterwards appeared successfully at the Gaiety Theatre and elsewhere in London in several productions and also in New York in 1914/15 and 1921/22. On her return to London she was seen in Battling Butler, a musical farce, at the New Oxford Theatre, which was produced on 8 December 1922. She was succeeded during the run by Phyllis Titmuss and was not seen again until September 1925 when she toured in a musical version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This was her last appearance. In the meantime she had been brought up at Bow Street Police Court on 23 March 1925, where she was fined £2 for being drunk and disorderly in Gerrard Street, Soho, having been ejected ‘on account of her violent conduct’ from the ‘Forty Three’ Club during the early morning of the previous Sunday.

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