Posts Tagged ‘Gladys Cooper’


Gladys Cooper, photographed in London, about 1908

June 15, 2014

Gladys Cooper (1888-1971), English actress.
(photo: Bassano, London, circa 1908; tinted postcard no. E.2022 published by the Aristophot Co Ltd, London, circa 1908)

Although the exact date of this photograph is uncertain, it is likely to have been taken during the run of the musical play, Havana, which ran at the Gaiety Theatre, London, from 25 April to 12 December 1908. Gladys Cooper appeared as one of the Touring Newspaper Beauties, together with Julia James, Frances Kapstowne, Daisy Williams, Connie Stuart, Kitty Lindley and Crissie Bell.


Gladys Cooper photographed by Bassano, London, 1911

May 21, 2014

Gladys Cooper (1888-1971), English actress.
(photo: Bassano, London, 1911)

When this photograph was published in May 1911, Miss Cooper had lately left the cast of Our Miss Gibbs and, turning her back on pantomime and musical comedy, was about to begin her theatrical career in earnest by appearing as Ethel Trent in Frank Howell Evans’s farce, Half-a-Crown, produced at the Royalty Theatre, London, on 31 May 1911. The cast was headed by Dennis Eadie.


Gladys Cooper, photographed in London, about 1908

April 9, 2014

Gladys Cooper (1888-1971), English actress, at about the time she appeared in Havana, the musical comedy which opened at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 25 April 1908.
(photo: unknown, but probably Bassano, London, circa 1908)


Gladys Cooper photographed by H. Goulton May, circa 1904

September 17, 2013

a photograph of Gladys Cooper (1888-1971), English actress, taken when she was about 16 years old
(photo and privately printed postcard: Henry Goulton May, 11 Hill Rise, Richmond-on-Thames, Surrey, circa 1904; this postcard was posted in Richmond on 1 December 1909, the sender having written on the reverse: ‘The sweetest Girl that ever was’)

Gladys Cooper began her acting career in 1905 by which time she was already an experienced photographer’s model; her earliest poses date from about 1894. It is not known how long her association with H. Goulton May lasted, but to judge from the number of images by him of her to have survived it must have been more than fleeting.

Henry Goulton May, one of the children of Benjamin Oliver May (1813/14), a grocer, and his wife, Mary Ann (née England) was born in 1850 at Teignmouth, Devon. The 1871 Census records that he was both an assistant to a grocer (presumably his father) and a bookseller’s assistant. By 1881 he had moved to London where, described as a portrait artist, he was boarding at 12 Wellington Street, Islington. He seems to have turned his attention to photography in the mid 1880s; in 1886 he registered a copyright photograph of Ellen Terry, who was then probably the most famous actress on the English stage, giving his address as 199 St. John’s Street Road, Clerkewell (National Archives).

H. Goulton May moved to 11 Hill Rise, Richmond, Surrey, probably in 1892, the year in which he was married to Annie May Hawkins by whom he eventually had five children. He exhibited work at the Royal Photographic Society’s exhibitions of 1899 and 1900 and for some years his business seems to have flourished. By 1911, however, he had become publican of The Foresters Arms, Redhill, Surrey, and less than two years later, at the time of his death on 3 February 1913, he was publican of the Rose and Crown, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire.


Gladys Cooper in Havana, 1908

July 13, 2013

Gladys Cooper (1888-1971), English actress, as she appeared in Havana, the musical comedy which opened at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 25 April 1908.
(photo: Bassano, London, 1908)


Malcolm Cherry and Gladys Cooper in The Misleading Lady

May 19, 2013

Malcolm Cherry and Gladys Cooper, in Paul Dickey and Charles W. Goddard’s play, The Misleading Lady, produced in London at the Playhouse Theatre on 6 September 1916 with a run of 231 performances.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1916)

‘An American comedy, The Misleading Lady, one of London’s productions at the Play House [sic], is whimsically declared to be amusing just because it is crude. Yet it is impossible not to like The Misleading Lady. The principal artists are Miss Gladys Cooper, Mr. Malcolm Cherry, and Mr. Weedon Grossmith. The plot primarily consists of a flirtation between the hero and heroine, in the course of which the misleading lady induces her partner to propose marriage, and then turns him down with the explanation that it was only her fun! The admirer is tragically hurt, and angrily declares that, as she has used her primitive weapons, that is to say, her charms, he will use his, namely, his brute force. Whereupon he throws this young society girl over his shoulder and carries her off in his motor car to his rustic shack in the Adirondacks. There are some lively scenes before the modern Petruchio masters this Katherine sufficiently for her to say she is quite willing to become his wife. And yet all this did not make the play. As in America by another comedian [i.e. Frank Sylvester], so in England by Mr. Weedon Grossmith, the winning card was an escaped lunatic, the pet of the keepers, and the delight of the audience, which thinks he is Napoleon! This is an intensely pathetic character, a harmless, lovable travesty of a man, capable on occasion of real dignity. ”Boney,” as the two keepers call him, renders a small service to the hero, who accepts the suggestion that he should present his mad benefactor with a sword. Boney takes it with the silly grin of the imbeceile, but as soon as he feels it in his hands his expression changes to one of deep earnestness, he draws his shabby figure to its full height, and with tremendous impressiveness, he creates the giver ”Marshal of France,” and stalks grandiloquently away, the three men standing at the salute! Half the audience laughed, half nearly wept, and all cheered.’
(The Auckland Star, Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, 30 December 1916, p. 14e. The London cast also included Ronald Colman as Stephen Weatherbee, a character played in the New York production by John Cumberland.)


Gladys Cooper

February 16, 2013

Gladys Cooper (1888- 1971),
English stage and screen actress,
(photo: W. & D. Downey, London, probably 1900)

Gladys Cooper when she was a child model, featured in The Harmsworth Magazine, London, September 1900, p.569


Frances Kapstowne

December 25, 2012

Frances Kapstowne (fl. early 20th Century), South African actress, singer and ‘society entertainer’ as Eva in The Girls of Gottenberg, a part created by Gladys Cooper, Gaiety Theatre, London, 28 March 1908 (photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1908/1909)

‘Miss Frances Kapstowne, who is about to leave England for a tour of the music halls in South Africa, her native land, is one of the prettiest and most talented little ladies associated with the lighter musical stage, and one of the best mimics the gentler sex can boast. She will be remembered for her excellent work in several of the Empire [Leicester Square] revues and it will also be recalled that she was the heroine of a remarkable ”sensation” a year or two ago. Expected as usual at the Empire Theatre one evening to take her part in the revue then running, Miss Kapstowne failed to make her appearance and for several days, in spite of efforts of her friends and the newspapers, she was ”missing.” Eventually she ”discovered” herself walking along the cliffs on the coast of Cornwall, utterly unable to explain how she came there, her unpleasant and extraordinary adventure being due to loss of memory.’ (The Throne, London, Monday, 22 May 1912, p. 305b)