Madeleine Rossiter

October 5, 2013

Madeline Rossiter (1888?-1964), English actress, singer, dancer and entertainer
(photo: Arthur Squibbs, Tenby, South Wales, circa 1910)

Madelaine Rossiter (Mrs William Henry Olley) is at present first recorded during 1905 as a dancer in C. St. John Denton’s UK touring company of the musical comedy, Kitty Grey, with Hilda Guiver in the title role. She afterwards had a varied career on the music hall and variety theatre stage, in pantomimes and concert parties. In addition to her work in the United Kingdom she was also a favourite in Australia and the Far East. During 1928 she was with Daniel Mayer’s company on a UK tour of Rose Marie, in the part of Wanda, in which she scored a success with the ‘Totem Tom-tom‘ number, in which she danced and was accompanied by the chorus; with Nancie Lovat in the title role.

* * * * *

The Bedford music hall, London, week beginning Monday, ‘Miss Madeline Rossiter, a clever and pretty Creole, is loudly applauded for a couple of songs and a particularly graceful dance.’
(The Stage, London, Thursday, 28 November 1907, p. 18b)

The Tivoli Theatre, Adelaide, South Australia, Thursday, 29 March 1917.
‘Madeline Rossiter, the swarthy dancer and singer of the Strollers Company appearing at the Tivoli Theatre, again scored the biggest hit in the new programme staged on Thursday evening last. Her chief contribution was a dainty little song, ”Why do you keep laughing at me with those big brown eyes?” with a particularly sharp pronunciation of ”Laughing,” turning it into the accepted Americanism ”Laffing.” The artist followed this up with a rhythmic dance to the melody of the same tune, throwing in a little suggestion of the spring song dance as well. The big audience was not slow to appreciate it, and insisted on Miss Rossiter coming back for an encore. Her response was a brilliant effort in foot and toe work. She is without doubt one of the finest dancers seen in this city for many years.’
(The Mail, Adelaide, Saturday, 31 March 1917, p. 13c)

Madeline Rossiter eventually retired to Scarborough, Yorkshire, where she died at the age of 76 in 1964.


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