Biographical sketches continued


Sydney Mail Feb 9 1921 Mr Alfred Harford

A WELL RESPECTED actor who was best known through his long association with Mr Bland Holt's productions, Mr Alfred Harford, passed away the other day .Mr Harford was with Mr Holt for 15 years without a break- a reminder of the time when drama was much to the fore, and a very paying proposition in this country. Later, associated with Messrs. Bert Bailey and Julius Grant, Mr Harford was one of the original cast of the real and lasting Australian success " On Our Selection". Another member of the same cast, by the way, has recently definitely seceded from the stage to take up journalism. This is Miss Mary Marlowe, whose last appearance on the boards was in "The Luck of the Navy" at the Palace Theatre some few months ago. Miss Marlowe, who is a native of Victoria wields a ready pen , and is already favourably known a s the author of two novels.

Referee January 6 1915 Mr Alfred Frith

Originally a Tommy, Mr Frith began his stage career with Maurice Bandmann, the musical comedy manager of the Orient. A comedian fell ill one night in a garrison town, and Mr Bandmann learned of Frith who had a reputation as an amateur. He entered the breach and achieved a success so remarkable that a contract followed. For five years or more India would have no other comedian in the broad comedy roles of the George Edwardes pieces. From India, Mr Frith went to Africa  where the Williamson management engaged him. He appeared there in several musical comedy productions and was brought on to Australia. Already he has been fortunate in the opportunity to show what he can do. We look to see him become popular in this part of the world.

Referee 28th September 1910 William (Billy) Walshe


The London 'Era ' in  hand by the last mail has an 'appreciation' of the late William Walshe, an Australian tenor, singer and actor, who succumbed, after an illness of ten months at St Mary's Nursing Home, Harrogate. Poor Walshe, who leaves a widow, had reached his fiftieth year. His remains were interred in the Kensal Green Cemetery.

"Billy" was always regarded as a Melbourne man. When he gave up a good billet to go in for opera he was a clerk in the Melbourne Treasury. He was one of the pupils of the late Lucy Chambers- a fine operatic artist in her day. According to the London paper, the tall, easy going, happy hearted tenor was born at Coogee. Walshe did not sing in Sydney until about 1890. His first big operatic engagement was with the Emelie Melville Comic Opera Co. in India, China and Japan. The company included Edward Farley, who has been ill in Sydney for the past couple of years and Signor Verdi, (Bill Greene), who is now in London.  Walshe sang in Australia and New Zealand with the Martin Simonsen and Montague-Turner opera companies. During his Australian career, the singer, who is now at rest, did a good deal of work in oratorio here and in Melbourne. He married in England.

The "Era" says; "Mr Walshe came to England in 1895. His first engagement was with Mr Henry Lowenfeld as Basillque in the production of "La Poupee" at the Prince of Wales Theatre in the Spring of 1897. Two years later he went to South Africa as principal tenor with the Arthur Rousby Opera Company and there met with great success. In recent years he has figured in "The Torreador" at the Gaiety in "The White Man" at the Lyric and with Miss Ellen Terry in "Captain Brassbound's Conversion", the play by George Bernard Shaw, which the distinguished actress produced at the Court in 1906, and subsequently took on tour. The deceased actor ,who had been ill since last November, sought relief at St Marys Nursing Home, Harrogate but eventually succumbed to diabetic coma.



Mr Joseph Carne , who seems extremely grateful for the  kind manner in which audiences at the Royal have received his performance of Sir George Sylvester, in "The Adventures of Lady Ursula" has had a long connection with the English and American stage. Twenty years ago, Dr Doran, the great critic and historian, introduced Mr Carne to John Hare, of the Court Theatre. Since that time Mr Carne has never had to be idle. He remained with John Hare two years and met in the same Co. Ellen Terry, Mrs Bernard Beere, Any Roselle, William Terris G.S. Titheradge, Alfred Bishop &c

Then followed a two years training in the old comedies with the finest exponents of old comedy that even the old Haymarket produced, Mr and Mrs Chippendale. An engagement with Charles Wyndham was followed by two years' juvenile lead with J.L. Toole. Mr and Mrs Bancroft then engaged him for the Haymarket. Here he played in the original production of "Fedora" and other plays. After remaining two years he spent four years in America with Mrs Langtry. His parts included, Claude Melnotte, Tony Marlow, Pygmalion and Joseph Surface. The New York "Herald" stated that Mr Carne's performance of this last named part was the best seen in the United States.

Mr and Mrs Kendal then engaged him to support them for three years in America and England. In the English provinces, Mr Carne has played the leading part in "Fedora" , "Liberty Hall" "Idler" "Jim the Penman" &c and has had London engagements at the Lyceum, Adelphi, Comedy, Haymarket, Garrick and Vaudeville during the last few years.

Mr Carne hopes to return to the colonies at the termination of his present engagement and the "Referee" trusts that his wishes will be gratified. He is an actor of conspicuous ability.



Mr George Spry and Miss Florrie Austin the clever couple who made their first appearances at the Tivoli on Saturday, have had considerable experience of the profession. They both took to the boards when very young, and have travelled extensively. Prior to his marriage seven years ago, Mr Spry was associated with a partner named Handford. Since then, together with his wife, he has visited America twice, been all over the Continent, and through Britain from one end to the other. For two consecutive years they appeared in panto at Drury lane under the late Sir Augustus Harris. The coming Christmas will be the first one for fourteen years that he has not appeared in panto, while it will be seven years since his wife missed a similar engagement. They are fully booked up to 1904.,



Mr George C Dean whose turn in one of the features of the present Tivoli bill, was well known here a few years ago. After doing good work in the different colonies he left in March 1896 with a vaudeville company for India and the East, and visited West Australia on route, sailing from India for England in November. He opened at once with "Harbor Lights" Company playing Tom Dossiter for a long tour of the provincial towns. During the Summer season, 1897, played an engagement at Folkestone Pavilion Concerts. An Autumn tour of Agnes Howitts "Destoying Angel" Co next engaged Mr Dean's attention and at Xmas '98 was specially engaged for panto at Queen's Opera House. N. London for the part of Hassarac in the "Forty Thieves". Upon the termination of the run of the piece was at once engaged for Hoolygan in "Little Christopher Columbus" and he visited all the large towns of England with the combination. At its conclusion Mr Dean appeared in his original turn at Oxford Music Hall and London Pavilion, singing his own songs. Another musical part, Dame Diccory in "Bonnie Boy Blue" took him touring again. Xmas last found him playing the principal comedy part at the Palace Theatre Newcastle on Tyne. Upon the termination of a run of three months he set sail for Australia, and opened at the Bijou Theatre Melbourne, under engagement to Harry Rickards, and played eleven weeks without a break. Mr Dean has successfully appeared at the principal halls in the provinces and also the syndicate London halls and the Metropolitan South London, Canterbury &c Holds return dates at nearly all. Mr Chas. Osborne one of the most popular song writers at the present moment in England is the composer of most of Mr D's successes , and it is needless to say Mr D's repertoire of songs is large and varied. Upon the termination of his present engagement the artist will visit South Africa , en route to England.



Mdme Lidiana Miska, the leading lady of the Opera House Dramatic Company, has had considerable experience both on the Continent, in England, and in America.

Born at St Petersburg Russia, where her father is still a colonel in the army, she received her early stage training in France. After scoring some successes, she went to Germany, and shortly after visited England, where she was engaged by the late Sir Augustus Harris, with whom she remained for three years, during which time she played leads in an extensive melodramatic repertoire.

Next she went to America, and after doing three years with the Charles Jefferson and Taylor Company, she visited all the leading cities with her own company.

Since then she has fulfilled several other engagements-including a season of light opera-both in England and America.


Miss Maggie Stirling is in Melbourne once again. Miss Stirling has been absent from Australia for six years, and during that time has won fame abroad. She went from Melbourne to Paris, where for twelve months she studied diligently under the great Marchesi, at the end of which time she secured good engagements in London, and put up a fine record. After her London season she toured the provinces, and afterwards Scotland and Wales, winning golden opinions wherever she sang. Miss Stirling is not only perfect in technique and musical ability but possesses "soul" which even Melba lacks. It is the sweet sympathy of her rich and cultured voice that wins the hearts of the people and causes them to feel that there is an affinity between them and the singer. Miss Stirling never fails to touch a responsive chord in her audience and, through her wonderful voice, is able to lay upon their feelings in a marked manner. The Scotch as a nation all love Maggie Stirling, for perhaps no one has ever sang their national ballads as she has done, and , we are sure, Australia will not be lacking in praise and appreciation of one of her offsprings. Miss Stirling's fine contralto voice was heard to great advantage in oratorio whilst abroad, under the leadership of Sir Hubert Parry, Sir Frederick Bridge, Coleridge Taylor, Sir Charles Stanford and other equally prominent men. Miss Stirling's Melbourne season will commence on 19th September, but will be very limited as her Australian tour only lasts for three months, when she returns to England for the London season. Next year Miss Stirling is to fulfil engagements in America and Canada.

Edwin Geach from The Theatre October 1 1911

Edwin Geach was born at Prahran (Victoria) became a newspaper reporter; and later on did the press work for the old Theatre Royal (Melbourne). It was in this way he came to light out theatrically. His first venture was with Carl Hertz, whom he took through Australasia, China and Japan. After this he secured Donald Macdonald, who went to South Africa during the Boer War as the correspondent for the Melbourne "Argus" and the Sydney "Herald". Mr Macdonald's war lectures under Mr Geach's management- "The Relief of Ladysmith" will be remembered as the title of one of them- gave each of them a fortune. "one of the finest fellows I ever met", is Mr Geach's estimate of Mr Macdonald. Mr Geach next went into partnership with George Willoughby, the company starting out with " The Wrong Mr Wright". Tours with Dante, Thurston, and others followed; then for some time he worked the dramatic reef; and finally became what he still is today- a partner in the big T J West enterprises. Mr Geach is one of the very few Australian managers who have worked London. The only other Australian the "Theatre" can call to mind as having visited London in this capacity is George Musgrove. It was with Donald Macdonald that Mr Geach went to England.

Hugh J Ward from The Referee July 12 1899

Mr Hugh J Ward is the young gentleman who gave us such an excellent performance of the gay old man in "a Stranger in New York" and is now following it with a splendid characterisation  of Ben Gay in " A Trip to Chinatown". These two performances alone  are quite sufficient to stamp him as one of the best character actors we have had .

The clever actor was born in Philadelphia USA 28 years ago, and joined the profession when about 17. During his career he has played everything from minstrelsy to tragedy, but his forte as one can readily see, is character acting, both comic and serious. For the past seven years he has played no fewer than 300 parts  and altogether for a man of his age claims to hold the record for America. He has been principal stock comedian and character actor  in San Francisco (Cal) and Pittsburg (Pa). In the latter city he remained three years . His greatest successes he considered  were in several of Richard Mansfield's parts . The young actor , who, besides being a fine performer is also an adept in the art of makeup , should have a very prosperous career before him, and the "Referee" takes this opportunity of wishing him the best of luck.

Mr Paul Pelham - Referee August 2 1899

Mr Paul Pelham, the English descriptive vocalist , and character comedian, who made such a hit at the Tivoli on Saturday, has been fifteen years in the business. During the whole of that time he has confined himself to the variety stage and apart from appearing at every hall of note in the United Kingdom has visited South Africa. His trip from England  was , he says, the first holiday he had had for the past six years. This is itself a guarantee of his ability, for none but an artist of the front rank would be kept so constantly at it. Mr Pelham, it may be noted , composes all his own songs, which have a most distinctive merit.

Mr G W Hunter- The Referee September 13 1899

Mr G W Hunter, the English comedian and raconteur , who made such a hit on his first appearance at the Tivoli on Saturday afternoon, has had a very varied and lengthy experience. Commencing at the Boston Museum, Boston, Mass. close on 25 years ago, he has appeared in every branch of the profession-even to the circus-but he prefers the line which he is at present appearing in. Mr Hunter was born near Leeds (Eng.) and during his extensive travelling has taken in almost every part of the world. During his stay in Australia he should make many friends, both on the stage and off.

Miss Belle Bucklin- Referee May 31 1899

Miss Belle Bucklin, who gives such a sprightly performance of the Parisienne in 'The Belle of New York", at Her Majesty's , is a native of New York, and made her debut in Frederick, the boys part in " La Mascotte." Most of her work on the stage has been done in light opera and melodrama. her first chance in a big part was in " A Fair Rebel"  a drama of the war, written expressly for her. She also played in three other war dramas, namely " Shenandoah " , "The New South" and "The Girl I Left Behind Me",. In opera she sustained soubrette parts as a rule, and her chief successes , she says, were achieved in an opera called "Kismet", dealing with a Turkish motive, and in a  work called "The Idol's eye."

Miss  Henrietta Watson -Referee August 9 1899

Miss Henrietta Watson one of the most popular and finest of the many actresses who have visited us, is making her reappearance as Miladi in 'The Kings Musketeers" at her Majesty's. it is close on six years since the talented lady completed her last engagement here, after having been with us for over two years.

In the course of a chat , Miss Watson gave an account of her doings during her absence.

"Immediately upon my arrival in London," she said, "I was engaged to play the chief part in the farcical comedy "Thoroughbred" at Terry's Theatre, after which I accepted a merry part in "Her Advocate", produced by Mr Charles Cartwright, at the Duke of York's. Next I did six months at the Lyceum Theatre as understudy to Mrs Patrick Campbell.

"At the beginning of 1896 I replaced Miss Milward at the Adelphi Theatre as Esther Coventry, the heroine of 'One of the East', with Wm Terriss, who you will remember met with such a sad fate as the hero. The followed a tour of 12 months in second parts with Miss Olga Nethersole in the United States, and on again returning to London I played long engagements in "This Happy Life' at the Duke of York's and "A Brace of Partridge" at the Strand. My final appearance before leaving for Australia was in "The Mayflower" a very fine play.

Miss Watson's engagement with "the Firm' is only for six months and will conclude in November. Local theatregoers would like to see it extended , but that, unfortunately, is hardly likely owing to engagements awaiting the lady in England.

Mr Tom and Miss Lily Englishe- Referee September 20 1899

The Englishes at present, appearing at the Palace with Mr Harry Rickards' company are , beyond a doubt, the cleverest musical team which has visited us. Their act is well diversified and their business thoroughly clever and refined.

Mr Tom Englishe joined the profession when 25 years of age, and since then he has appeared with musical variety, dramatic, and burlesque companies , and has visited every city of note in the United States, Canada, British Columbia , England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, France and South Africa (which he has visited twice.)

His wife, Miss Lily Englishe, made her first appearance when seven, as a child violinist and whistling soloist. The latter gift she claims to have inherited from her mother, who though not a professional , is a wonderfully clever siffleuse.

The clever couple have been exceedingly unfortunate since their arrival in Australia. Mrs Englishe's dresses were all burnt in Melbourne, and their duplicates met with a similar fate at the disastrous Tivoli fire last week, when a valuable collection of musical instruments which had all ben made from designs by Mr Englishe, were also destroyed , the total loss being estimated at 150 pounds . Unlike most musical artists the Englishes have never used a "faked" instrument of any description as they consider that with perseverance and practice the same comic and novel effects can be produced to more advantage with legitimate instruments. They are fully booked up in England until 1903.

The Sisters McCoy- The Referee July 1899

One of the features of the present Harry Conor season has been the bright work work and exceedingly smart dancing of the sisters McCoy. The clever young ladies who are only 15 and 17 years of age, have done work which would do infinite credit to any adult artists and it is gratifying to see that the audiences fully appreciate it. Born in New York, they have been dancing all their lives , but their first engagement of any importance was in the original production of "A Trip to Chinatown" when they occupied the same place on the bill as they do now. After finishing that season they returned to school for a couple of years and when "A  Stranger in New York" was about to be presented they rejoined Messrs. Hoyt and McKee. Since then they have toured all over America-from east to west and from North to South  twice, and everywhere they have met with just recognition. The little ladies are pupils of Mr Sam Marion, who certainly should feel proud of the result of his labors. The sisters, in addition to being fine dancers, are expert cyclists. In the century run from New York to Philadelphia , organised by  the American League of Wheelmen for members of the theatrical profession, they were the only two ladies out of 300 starters  who finished the distance. Mr Marion, it might be mentioned  by the way, visited Australia some ten years ago.....(illegible)... He was associated with a partner named Franks. Altogether he claims to have been a dancer for 20 years.

Susie Vaughan from The Referee 30th September 1908

Miss Susie Vaughan, of the Anglin Company began stage life as a ballerina and made her first appearance in "Il Trovatore" at Covent Garden. She was very young then, but her talent for theatre work was so early developed that lots of small speaking parts were entrusted to her during her three years stay in the classic theatre. Thereafter she joined her sister, the famous Kate Vaughan, for vaudeville work and as one of the 'celebrated Vuaghan troupe of dancers'. When Hollingshed received Kate Vaughan for the Gaiety Burlesques , which were drawing all London at that time, the troupe was broken up , and Miss Susie Vaughan definitely began her dramatic career with a stock company in London, which played every style of piece possible, while at Xmas time pantomime was the invariable rule. In pantomime Miss Vaughan has been everything. In 1901 she paid her first visit to Australia as a member of the Brough-Boucicault combination , and in 1903-4 was touring with the "Are you a Mason" company. In 1905 she returned to London just in time to  take up the part of Lady Chelmer in "Merely Mary Ann" . By a curious co incidence , Miss Ada Dwyer played that character in London. At the end of the same year she came back to Australia, her reappearance being made at the opening of the new Her Majesty's Theatre Sydney.


Wally Smith- Australian Variety and Show World- January 5 1916

Last week there passed away one of the best known dancers and dancing teachers of Australia in the the person of Mr Wally Smith, well and favourably known toa  wide circle of vaudeville people.

In his time, the deceased was one of this country's most expert clog dancers, and had won innumerable trophies in open competition. In vaudeville also he was in the forefront of steppers, some of his contemporaries including Delohery, Craydon and Holland, Frank Yorke, Dan Tracey, Steve Adson and Tom Sadler. Both as a single and in team work, Wally Smith had established an excellent reputation as a dancer in the early nineties.

As a teacher of dancing he stood out on his own, many of his pupils being afterwards famous in the theatrical world. Amongst these might be mentioned, Clyde Cook, Fred Leslie, Jacky Hooker and the Six Exposition Dancers. Innumerable artists of the present day have the late Mr Smith to thank for their early training. Furthermore, his entire family of seven children have made a name for themselves in Australian vaudeville. In addition to these, the deceased leaves a widow well known to performers to mourn his loss.

Personally, the late Wally Smith, was a most courteous and obliging gentleman , most painstaking with pupils and on exceptionally good terms with everybody who chanced to have the pleasure of his acquaintance. He was about forty five years of age. To the bereaved widow and family we would extend our most sincere sympathy.

Death of Mr Ted Holland - Referee September 9 1914

Mr Ted Holland died at his home, 'Elgar' North Quay Brisbane on Friday last, after some weeks illness. A very wide circle of friends in the profession and beyond heard the news with very sincere regret. He was buried at the Toowong Cemetery on Saturday in the presence of one of the largest gatherings of well known citizens ever seen in Brisbane. The service at the graveside was conducted by the Rev Father Byrne and wreaths were sent from all parts many from old Sydney friends.

In giving a sketch of his career , 'The Courier' remarks that the late ' Mr Holland ' Ted' as he was known to the multitude who knew and loved him was quite the doyen of the theatrical profession in Queensland, and it was largely due to his pluck and enterprise that we owe the present position and high standard of vaudeville in Brisbane.

It was on January 7, 1911 that in conjunction with Mr Percy St John , the deceased gentleman opened the Empire Theatre  which represented the crowning achievement of a long career of theatrical enterprise in this State. It was so far back as 1883 that Mr Holland made his first appearance in Brisbane. He was then one of the famous ' Australian Team' of singers and dancers in which his comrades were Messrs Tom Delohery, now of Brisbane, and Jas Craydon now stage manager for Messrs Fuller and Brennan at the National Amphitheatre Sydney. It is claimed for them by old playgoers that there never has been before or since, a team to equal this first great Australian born and trained trio of comedians, dancers and sketch artists. Their first appearance in Brisbane was at the Albert Hall Adelaide Street afterwards the Gaiety Theatre and since dismantled. Some little time after the team, refusing many tempting offers to visit other lands headed companies of their own with which they toured this and other States until ' Delohery' Carydon and Holland came to be regarded as the standard in their business. It is nearly 15 years now since the team disbanded and Mr Holland went into management on his own account.

His large Queensland tour closed in 1909 at Brisbane Theatre Royal with a continuous season of of five months something unique then in Queensland vaudeville annals. His idea of establishing a permanent vaudeville show in Brisbane entertained for a number of years before then took shape and was put into effect in 1904 when he secured an extended lease of the Theatre Royal. The show ran with continuous and marked success until the end of 1910 when it was removed to the new Empire Theatre where its previous success has since been excelled.

As an artist Mr Holland was a prime favourite always, his humour being as keen as it was wholesome, whilst as dancers he and his comrades of the team were above comparison. Always a straightgoer, 'Ted'  was beloved and honoured by all who knew him. He was a keen sportsman and an ardent supporter of the turf having several times raced horses of his own. He was 53 years of age and leaves a widow and one son.


Susie Vaughan

Susie Vaughan's colonial career dates from 1901 when she debuted as a member of the Broughs in "The Second in Command" at Sydney Royal. In 1905 she visited England for a brief spell and then returned to support Tittell Brune. She is a most experienced actress and unquestionably " the grand dame of the Australian Stage".

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