Posts Tagged ‘Camille Clifford’

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Camille Clifford, a ‘Gibson Girl,’ London, 1904/05

May 5, 2015

Camille Clifford (Camilla Antoinette Clifford, 1885-1971), Belgian-born, Scandinavian/American-raised, English theatrical celebrity, as a Gibson Girl. In 1906 she married the Hon. Henry Lyndhurst Bruce (1881-1914) and retired from the stage.
(photo: W. & D. Downey, London, 1904/05; postcard no. 467C in the Rotary Photographic Series, published in London by The Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, 1904/05)

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Jennie Opie as the Duchess of Della Volta, Australia, 1905

September 14, 2014

Jennie Opie (1871-1943), Australian contralto in comic opera and musical comedy as she appeared as the Duchess of Della Volta in a revival of La Fille du Tambour Major at the New Theatre Royal, Melbourne, 8 April 1905
(photo/postcard: Talma, Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, circa 1905)

Jennie Opie, whose real name was Jane Opie, was born in Wallaroo, South Australia on 24 March 1871. On 26 October 1895 she was married in Rugby, South Australia to Isaac Killicoat (1861-?) but their union did not last; they separated in 1898 and finally divorced in 1929. By that time Jennie Opie had been semi retired from the stage since about 1914, the year in which she advertised herself as the new proprietress of the Scotch Thistle Hotel, North Adelaide (The Mail, Adelaide, Saturday, 31 October 1914, p. 2s); she later became the licensee of the Botanic Hotel, Adelaide.

Jennie Opie, who began singing at the age of 13, spent much of her career on tour throughout Australia with the J.C. Williamson’s company, with whom she also made two trips to India. From the summer of 1905 she spent five years in America and was in San Francisco at the time of the earthquake in 1906. She appeared in New York at Daly’s Theatre from 3 December 1906 to 30 March 1907 in The Belle of Mayfairas Lady Chaldicott, the part originated in London by Maud Boyd. Other leading parts were played by Christie MacDonald, Bessie Clayton and Valeska Suratt, the latter playing the Duchess of Dunmow, the part originated in London by Camille Clifford.

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La Fille du Tambour Major revived at the New Theatre Royal, Melbourne, 8 April 1905.
‘The revival of La Fille du Tambour Major at the Theatre Royal was brought to a close on Saturday night [22 April 1905], after a successful run of a fortnight. The opera is so well known, or perhaps I should say, has been, as it is seldom heard nowadays, that is is unnecessary to describe the plot, and indeed there is very little plot to describe – it is of the simplest and most transparent kind, and it is certainly not n it that the opera relies for its popularity; but on its bright, rhythmical music, and the scope which it gives for picturesque dressing and effective ensembles. The production was notable for its excellent chorus, some numbers of which had to be repeated each night, and the beautiful minuet introduced in the second act. In the latter the dancers look as if they had stepped straight off a beautiful Dresden china plate. The colouring was most lovely – a pale pink and pale blue: the gallants in knee-breeches, old-fashioned coats and waistcoats, and the ladies in full short skirts and low-necked lace bodices, and carrying which ostrich feather fans. All wore white curled wigs. The minuet also received nightly a well-deserved encore. Miss Jessie Ramsay, as La Fille du Tambour Major, looked very pretty, and acted her part well; her voice is pleasant, but was hardly big enough for the theatre. Miss Jennie Opie made a very handsome Duchess Della Volta, gowned first in a beautiful white satin ball dress, trimmed with deep yellow roses, and afterwards in a most becoming russet brown velvet riding habit, and large brown velvet hat, with which ostrich plume. Miss Maud Thornton as Griolet, the little drummer boy, acted with great vivacity and abandon. She looked very taking in her drummer-boy costume, and her drum solo was much appreciated. She has a good voice, but had very few opportunities in which to display it. Mr. Con Burrow made a rollicking Tambour Major, his sallies being greeted with much laughter. Mr. George Majeroni, as the Duc Della Volta, and Mr. John Wallace, as the Marquis Bambini, were also very amusing. The staging was excellent, the scenery having been specially painted by Mr. Rege Robins; the costumes were designed by Mr. T.J. Jackson. A full orchestra was conducted by Mr. Edward Hanstein; the whole production being under the direction of Mr. A. M’Nicol Turner.’
(Rowena, ‘Melbourne Lady’s Letter,’ The Town and Country Journal, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Wednesday, 26 April 1905, p. 40b)

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The Hon. Mrs Lyndhurst Bruce, formerly known as Camille Clifford, the Gibson Girl, on her return to the United States in 1916 and remarriage, 1917

March 24, 2014

The Hon. Mrs Lyndhurst Bruce, formerly Camille Clifford (1885-1971), Belgian-born, Scandinavian/American-raised, English theatrical celebrity and ‘Gibson Girl,’ on her return to the United States in 1916 and remarriage, 1917.
(photo: Bassano, London, circa 1914, print by Bains News Service, 32 Union Square East, New York, New York, 1916/17)

‘CAMILLE CLIFFORD (Hon. Mrs Lyndhurst Bruce), whose husband was killed in the war, returned to American Jan. 9 [1916] on the Adriatic.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, New York, Saturday, 15 January 1916, p. 15a)

‘LONDON AT A GLANCE. EX-STAGE BEAUTY TO WED AGAIN.
‘LONDON, Eng., July 25 [1917]. – Mrs. Henry L. Bruce, formerly the famous stage beauty Camille Clifford, will be married on August 9 to Capt. John M.J. Evans, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. On October 11, 1906, Camille Clifford, sometimes called ”The Gibson Girl,” was married to Capt. Henry Lyndhurst Bruce, eldest son and heir to Lord Aberdeen [Aberdare], who was killed in battle December 14, 1914.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, New York, Saturday, 1 August 1917, p. 14d)

‘LONDON AT A GLANCE. CAMILLE CLIFFORD RE-MARRIES.
‘LONDON, Eng., Aug. 9 [1917]. – Mrs. Henry Lyndhurst Bruce, formerly known to the stage as Camille Clifford, was married today to Captain John M.J. Evans, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Her first husband was killed in action while serving as a captain of the Royal Scouts.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, New York, Saturday, 15 August 1917, p. 12d)

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Billie Burke and J. Farren Soutar as they appeared as Columbine and Harlequin in the harlequinade introduced on 22 December 1906 into the musical comedy, The Belle of Mayfair at the Vaudeville Theatre, London.

March 9, 2014

Billie Burke (1884-1970) and J. Farren Soutar (1870-1962), English actor and singer, as they appeared as Columbine and Harlequin in the harlequinade introduced into the musical comedy, The Belle of Mayfair (Vaudeville Theatre, London, 11 April 1906) on Saturday afternoon, 22 December 1906. Other members of the harlequinade were Arthur Williams (Clown), Sam Walsh (Pantaloon), Courtice Pounds (Policeman), Charles Angelo (Swell), Louie Pounds (Fairy Princess), Ruby Ray (Mdlle. Amorette), and Camille Clifford (La Pompadour).
(photo: Bassano, London, 1906)

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Phyllis Dare as Peggy in The Dairymaids, 1907-1908

October 8, 2013

Phyllis Dare (1890-1975), English actress, singer and star of musical comedy as she appeared in The Dairymaids, a farcical musical play, with music by Paul Rubens and Frank E. Tours, 1907-1908
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1907/08)

The Dairymaids was first produced by Robert Courtneidge at the Apollo Theatre, London, on 14 April 1906, with Carrie Moore in the leading role of Peggy. The piece ran for 239 performances and closed on 8 December 1906. Courtneidge organized various tours of The Dairymaids, including one for the autumn of 1907 which began at the Gaiety Theatre, Douglas, Isle of Man, on Monday, 19 August, with Phyllis Dare playing Peggy. Miss Dare was obliged to abandon her appearances for two weeks (Belfast and Sheffield) because of laryngitis, when the part of Peggy was taken by Violet Lloyd.

After a break during the Christmas season of 1907/08, during which Phyllis Dare appeared with Carrie Moore, Gwennie Hasto, Esta Stella, Rosie Berganine, John Humphries, Dan Rolyat, Stephen Adeson and Fred Leslie junior in the pantomime Cinderella at the Theatre Royal, Birmingham, she was again seen as Peggy in The Dairymaids. The production opened at the Queen’s Theatre, London, on 5 May 1908 for a run of 83 performances and closed on 18 July 1908.

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‘LONDON, May 13 [1908]… . Revival of The Dairymaids this week at the Queen’s, the newest of London theaters, brings up that precocious little actress, Phyllis Dare, who, although she has been an established London favorite for three years, is only 19 years old. She has more ”puppy” adorers than any other woman on the English stage. The junior ”Johnnydom” goes mad over her, assures her of a well-filled house whenever she appears, and buys her postcards in thousands. It was the fair haired Phyllis who was summoned back from boarding school in Belgium when only 17 years of age to assume Edna May’s part in The Belle of Mayfair, when that independent American actress threw up her part because of the importance given to Camille Clifford, the original ”original” Gibson girl. The papers made so much of the fact that the little Phyllis’s studies had been interrupted by the siren call of Thespis that she packed the playhouse for many weeks with a curious public, many of whom had never before heard her name. Now I hear that Miss Dare will shortly essay the role of Juliet at a special matinee to be arranged by Robert Courtneidge, her manager.’
(Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, 23 May 1908, p. 16c)

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Camille Clifford

June 25, 2013

Camille Clifford (1885-1971), Belgian-born, Scandinavian/American-raised, English theatrical celebrity, as a Gibson Girl, in The Belle of Mayfair, Vaudeville Theatre, London, 1906
(photo: Bassano, London, 1906)

‘Miss Camille Clifford was so annoyed by a crowd at Bristol that she took refuge in a confectioner’s shop. We have known actresses to do the same even without the pressure of a crowd.’
(The Sporting Times, London, Saturday, 10 November 1906, p. 1b)

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Grace Palotta, Minnie Tittell Brune and Nellie Stewart

June 11, 2013

‘Greetings from Australia’, Rotary postcard 5330B, with photographs of
Grace Palotta, Minnie Tittell Brune and Nellie Stewart
(photos: various, the majority London, 1905 and circa)

This real photograph postcard, no. 5330B in the Rotary Photographic Series by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd of London, was produced for export to Australia about 1907. This example has been decorated with tinsel and is hand tinted. The three main portraits are of actresses well known to Australian audiences: Grace Palotta (daughter of Charles Palotta and his wife Emma, née Kleinhenn; 1867?-1959), Australian by birth but of Viennese ancestry, who became popular in musical comedy in the 1890s and early 20th Century in London and on tour in Australia; Minnie Tittell Brune (b.1883), American actress who toured Australasia between 1904 and 1909 and was also active in the United States and the United Kingdom; and Nellie Stewart (1858-1931), the most popular of all native born Australian actresses, who also appeared in the United States and the United Kingdom. The other photographs are stock images of various actresses, singers and dancers, including Lily Elsie, Vesta Tilley, Marie Studholme, Dorothy Frostick, Phyllis and Zena Dare, Gertie Millar, Gabrielle Ray, Daisy Jerome, Mabel Love, Billie Burke and Camille Clifford. Other examples of this card are to be found in the National Library of Australia ( 1) and (2).