Grace Huntley in Dorothy

November 27, 2013

Grace Huntley (née Fanny Taylor, 1860?-1896), Scottish actress and singer, as she appeared in Dorothy, the successful comedy opera by B.C. Stephenson, with music by Alfred Cellier, which was first produced at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 25 September 1886. The production was transferred to the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, on 20 December 1886 and Miss Huntley joined the cast there to play the part of Phyllis Tuppitt in March 1887. Dorothy was subsequently transferred on 17 December 1888 to the Lyric Theatre, London, and its run finally ended on 6 April 1889 after a run of 931 performances and many changes of cast.
(photo: unknown, probably London, 1887)

‘Regret will be felt in play-going circles at the news of the death, at Harrogate, of Miss Grace Huntley, one of the best known and most successful of burlesque actresses. She was the sister of Mrs. Richard Edgar, and had another sister and brother connected with the stage.’
(The Leeds Mercury, Leeds, Wednesday, 14 October 1896, p. 5h)

‘HUNTLEY. – On Oct. 10th [1896], at Harrogate, of Bright’s disease, Grace Huntley, actress’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 17 October 1896, p. 14d)

Pick-Me-Up pays the following kindly tribute to the memory of Miss Grace Huntley and to the good work she did in Bristol:- ”The death of Miss Grace Huntley removes from the stage one who in her time was probably the best ‘principal boy’ we have had. Miss Huntley had, of course, been ‘principal boy’ at Drury Lane, but it was in provincial pantomimes – where the ‘principal boy’ is expected to work, not only to be looked at p that she was seen at her best. I have seen, I imagine, pretty well all the ‘principal boys’ in England, but with the exception of Ada Blanche (the Ada Blanche of five years ago) there was never a pantomime ‘boy’ to rival Miss Huntley. Her particular ‘note’ was a peculiar softness of speech and a certain indefinable charm, which was quite irresistible. Her voice never jarred upon you, and to gain her success she never resorted to anything but what was strictly legitimate. She was at the height of her ability, perhaps, seven or eight years ago. At Bristol, about that time, she was a particular favourite, and nothing could have been better than her performances in Mr. [John Henry] Chute’s Prince’s Theatre pantomimes, where she appeared several years running. Those who, like myself, had the pleasure of seeing her on those occasions will not easily forget her memory.’
(The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post, Saturday, 31 October 1896, p. 8e)

‘The will of Miss Fanny Taylor, popularly known by her professional name of Grace Huntley, who died on Oct. 10th, at 13, Belmont-avenue, Harrogate, has been proved in London by Mr James Kenwick Edward, the sole executor, by whom the testatrix’s personalty is sworn at £2,416 9s. 8d. gross, and £2,385 15s. 8d. net.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 14 November 1896, p. 12a)


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