Posts Tagged ‘The Woman Hater (play)’


Alice Hastings

June 10, 2013

the grave of Alice Hastings (1855?-1888), Irish-born American actress, Odd Fellows’ Cemetery, Philadelphia
the inscription reads: ‘Erected by / ROLAND REED / to the memory of / ALICE HASTINGS / who departed this life / on the first day of December / Anno Domini 1888’
‘Her Art Dramatic won the well earned fame,
Her tender nature made us love her name,
Her charities still bring the thankful tear,
Her deeds survive the body lying here!’
(photo: Gilbert & Bacon, Philadelphia, 1888)

‘Roland Reed, it is settled, is to stay at the Fourteenth Street [Theatre] three weeks longer. There is a probability that he may revive ”Toodles” in front of ”The Woman Hater” before he goes away. Louise Balfe is now playing the leading rĂ´les in Reed’s support, Alice Hastings (Mrs. Reed) having retired for a rest. She suffers from a heart trouble. ”A Tin Soldier” is the ensuing booking.’
(The Sun, Sunday, New York, 2 December 1888, p. 5f)

‘Alice Hastings, the actress, died on Saturday afternoon from heart disease. Born in Dublin, Ireland, her first appearance in this country was at Niblo’s Garden [New York] during the first production of the ”Black Crook.” During her life upon the stage Miss Hastings was connected with various companies in Pittsburg, Philadelphia and Chicago, and for some time travelled with Colville’s ”Folly” Company. For the last seven years she has been connected with Roland Reed, creating the leading roles in ”Cheek,” ”Humbug,” and ”The Woman Hater.” Her last appearance in this city [New York] was on last Monday night, at the Fourteenth Street Theatre. The funeral will take place tomorrow morning, at St. Ann’s Cathedral. The quartet of the ”Old Homestead” company will sing during the services.’
(New-York Daily Tribune, Monday, 3 December 1888, p. 7b)

‘There was quite a large gathering, composed mainly of parish people, at St. Ann’s Church, on East Twelfth-street [New York], yesterday morning at the funeral of Alice Hastings, the wife of Roland Reed, the actor. Nine o’clock was rather an early hour for the members of the theatrical profession, but among its representatives present were Louise Balfe, who will take Miss Hastings’s place in Mr. Reeds company; C.W. Leslie, Ernest Barton, John S. McPartland, Kitty Walsh, Mrs. James Harrigan, Miss Annie Lewis, Julian Reed, W.J. Leonard, John Walsh, Edward Buckley, Harry Smith, H.R. Davies and F.E. Gerome. Miss Hastings’s aunt from Rochester, on the arm of Mr. Reed, and Messrs. John McPyke and John Foley followed the coffin into the church. When the coffin had been deposited in the aisle a large floral cross and two wreaths, designed as emblematic of faith, hope, and charity, tributes from the company of which Miss Hastings was a member, were placed on a stand near by. Requiem mass was said by the Rev. Father William Jackson, one of the parish priests. Before absolution he spoke briefly of the comforts of religion at such a time, and referred to the fact that Miss Hastings died in full fellowship with the church and with its consolations.
‘Mass was concluded in time to take the body to the Desbrosses-street Ferry for the 11 o’clock train for Philadelphia, where the interment occurred in the Odd Fellows’ Cemetery of that city.’
(The New York Times, New York, 5 December 1888)

‘A statement that Alice Hastings, who died in New York, was the wife of Roland Reed, the comedian, in whose company she was the leading lady, is denied by Miss Johanna Summer [sic], who claims she is the legal and only wife of the actor. They lived separate, but the actor sent her letters and money regularly every week.’
(The Reading Eagle, Reading, Pennsylvania, Thursday, 6 December 1888, p. 1c)

For a photograph of Alice Hastings’s grave as it is today, after its removal to Mount Vernon Cemetery, Philadelphia, see Find a Grave.

* * * * *

The American comic actor Roland Lewis Reed (1852-1901) was the son of John Roland Reed, who was connected with the Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia for 56 years. In September 1873 he married Joana Sommer (1846-1900), originally from Germany, by whom he had a daughter, the actress Florence Reed (1883-1967). Reed and his wife subsequently separated after which he lived with Alice Hastings. Following the latter’s death he married the actress Isadore Rush, who died in 1904.