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Barnabee, Henry Clay (14 November 1833–16 December 1917), singer and actor, was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the son of Willis Barnabee and Mary (maiden name unknown). His father was a stagecoach driver who became an innkeeper. Willis Barnabee’s wife was cook, and his adolescent son Henry was odd-jobs man and at times bartender....

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De Angelis, Thomas Jefferson (30 November 1859–20 March 1933), actor and musical performer, was born in San Francisco, California, the son of John “Johnny” De Angelis and Susan Loudenschlager, stage performers. He was thus born to a theatrical heritage. His uncle, Thomas Rosa, taught him dancing and gymnastics, and his father gave him voice lessons. De Angelis also attended a few classes in public schools in both Philadelphia and New York, but his formal schooling was sparse....

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Fox, Della May (13 October 1870–15 June 1913), comic opera star, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Andrew J. Fox, a leading St. Louis photographer, and Harriett Swett. Della made her first appearance on stage as the Midshipmite in a St. Louis production of ...

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De Wolf Hopper Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-90305).

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Hopper, DeWolf (30 March 1858–23 September 1935), actor and singer, was born William D’Wolf Hopper in New York City, the son of John Hopper, a lawyer, and Rosalie D’Wolf. The family lived on East Third Street right off the Bowery and later moved to West Forty-third Street. His paternal grandfather, John Tatum Hopper, was a Quaker and a conductor of the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who was disciplined by the Quaker Meeting for his participation in the Civil War. Hopper was six when his father died, leaving him and his mother comfortably well off. He studied at J. H. Morse’s School. Early on he showed a propensity for the theatrical. As a school boy he mastered the “Senator Dilworthy” monologue, and when he was fifteen he played in a Sunday school production of ...

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Ward, Geneviève (27 March 1838–18 August 1922), singer and actress, was born Lucy Geneviève Teresa Ward in New York City, the daughter of Samuel Ward, a planter, businessman, and sometime diplomat, and Lucy Lee (or Leigh). Taken abroad for her education, Ward traveled extensively throughout Europe as a young girl. When Ward was between the ages of thirteen and fifteen, composer Gioacchino Rossini heard her sing and sent her to study with the director of the opera in Florence, Italy....

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Whiffen, Blanche Galton (12 March 1844–25 November 1936), actress and singer, was born in London, England, the daughter of Joseph West Galton, a secretary of the London General Post Office, and Mary Ann Pyne, an opera singer. After the death of her father in 1851, Whiffen and her sister attended a boarding school in Gravesend, Kent, until 1857. They later studied at Mrs. Chapman’s School in London and spent eighteen months at a school in St. Omer, France. Whiffen made her stage debut in November 1865 at London’s Royalty Theater as Rosatinta the Fairy in the light opera ...