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Adelina Balfe, a Gaiety Girl, photographed by the Dover Street Studios, London, circa 1909

March 4, 2014

Adelina Balfe (1888?-1948), Welsh born actress and Gaiety Girl
(photo: Dover Street Studios, London, circa 1909)

Adelina Balfe, whose real name was Dorothy Winifred Davies, was born in Swansea, Wales, about 1888. Her brief theatrical career began in 1906 but she did not attract attention until she was contracted to appear in small parts at the Gaiety Theatre, London, first in Havana (25 April 1908) and then in Our Miss Gibbs (23 January 1909). It was shortly after the beginning of the run of the latter that Miss Balfe married Lieutenant Gerard Randal Klombies (1887-1934), of the 2nd Dragoon Guards, son of (Carl) Robert Klombies (1842?-1920) and his second wife, Henrietta Sophia (née Peek). The couple had a daughter and were divorced in 1918 after which Miss Balfe was married for a second and third time.

* * * * *

‘GAIETY GIRL’S MARRIAGE.
‘The marriage is reported of Miss Adelina Balfe, who is playing Sheila in Our Miss Gibbs at the Gaiety Theatre, London, to Lieutenant Gerard Randal Klombies, of the 2nd Dragoon Guards.
‘Miss Balfe appeared at the Gaiety that afternoon and evening as usual.<br. ‘The secret of the wedding was well kept, and even the bride’s closest friends knew nothing about the event till it was over.
‘Some particulars of the happy couple were published in the Evening News. The bridegroom – a lieutenant in the 2nd Dragoon Guards – is said to be a rich man in his own right, besides being the son of a wealthy mill-owner in the North. The bride who was described in the register as ”an actress, daughter of Herbert Davies, deceased, musician,” was born in Kilkenny [sic], and her dark beauty and nervous, generous temperament are typically Irish. She is just eighteen years of age, her husband being twenty-one.
‘Miss Adelina Balfe – to give her the name by which she is known to playgoers – joined the Gaiety Company in Havana, playing the part of Lolita, one of the ”Cigarette Girls.” her first stage experience was, however, with Mr Weedon Grossmith.
‘The young lieutenant first saw his bride about four months ago. It was a case of love at first sight, but some little time elapsed before he could secure an introduction. In the interval he occupied the same box every night until a common friend brought the young people together.
‘At the ceremony the bride, wearing heavy squirrel furs, a long fur coat, and a large hat of light blue shade, was accompanied by her mother. After the ceremony she repaired to the Gaiety Theatre, where she took her part of Sheila in Our Miss Gibbs. She also appeared at the evening performance. She is under a three years’ contract with Mr George Edwardes, and had expressed her intention of seeing it out.’
(The Marlborough Express, Blenheim, New Zealand, Friday, 2 April 1909, p. 2c)

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