Gabrielle Ray

'Gabrielle Ray said, 'I am always dancing; I love it! When I don't dance, I sing. What else is there to do?'

Gabrielle Ray – Grave

I recently visited Miss Ray’s grave which is in Englefield Green Cemetery, Egham. (Plot 37, grave 53). Sadly the headstone is rather grubby and in need of cleaning. Robert Waters placed a small plaque which is at the side of the headstone.

“An actor is soon forgotten – he reigns as a King a while: He’s feted, and cheered and honoured, and he basks in the Publics’ smile. But the moment his work is over, and gone is the power to please, He has drained the cup of pleasure and come to the bitter lees”   (1)

(1) [Sims, G. (1880) “Ballads of Babylon” Fuller, London (p 94) ]

I recently contacted the Musical Hall Guild of Great Britain and America who have been assigned ownership of Miss Ray’s grave by her family and it is their intention to replace her memorial at a future date. As a charitable organisation they rely on donations to continue their work.

Find a grave


September 26, 2011 Posted by | Actress, Biography, Gabrielle Ray, Grave, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Gabrielle Ray – Death Certificate – 1973

Gabrielle Ray - Death Certificate - 1973

September 26, 2011 Posted by | Actress, Biography, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Marriage Certificate – Gabrielle Ray – 1912

September 26, 2011 Posted by | Actress, Biography, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – Birth Certificate – 1883

Gabrielle Ray – Birth Certificate – 1883

September 26, 2011 Posted by | Actress, Biography, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flower Basket (Philco 3305 A)


Gabrielle Ray (Philco 3313 B)



A Remarkable Gift


This card shows Miss Ray looking through a large basket of flowers. I don’t know whether it is from a particular production or one of her many “glamour” shots.

James Jupp [1] “the moustachioed,unyielding stage door keeper” [2] recalls that “my stage-door was a miniature Covent Garden on the occasion of a First Night. Baskets of the most exquisite flowers from Bond Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly and other quarters filled the hall and as they were taken into the dressing rooms of the ladies to whom they were sent, so their places were filled by another consignment. These flowers were not always of the “cut” variety, but growing in huge pots and in full bloom” [1]

Often “on a first night there was no room to move for flowers, and the ladies of the Gaiety used to send cabs full of them to the hospital” [3]

“Sometimes those bouquets contained rings, bracelets, necklaces and other jewellery. Sometimes the Gaiety Girls kept these gifts, sometimes they kept the flowers and returned the jewels, it all depended from whom they came” [3]

The gifts were beautiful but “the most remarkable ever sent was received by Gabrielle Ray. It was a complete grapevine, growing in a half hoop over a gigantic basket. It had taken eight years to grow and when delivered at the stage door in a cart it needed four men to carry it in. It bore twenty bunches of beautiful black grapes” [3]   

Jupp added that “it stood about ten feet high and that it was first started to train as an experiment and after eight years this was the result. It was certainly a thing of beauty, but an extraordinary one to be deposited at the stage-door of a theatre as a gift” [1]       

The Gaiety was a place of beauty and excess, of magic and glamour such as nowadays is not to be found. Those summer nights in the 1900’s seemed longer and warmer than the nights of today; the Gaiety Girls were conscious that they were a race apart where a smile would send a young man’s temperature bounding. The Gaiety filled the Strand with joy and its girls gilded it with beauty”. [4]




[1]  Jupp, J. (1923) “The Gaiety Stage Door, Thirty Years Reminiscences of the Theatre” J. Cape, London. (p. 65)  (Accessed 26th   September 2011)

 [2] Brahms, C; and Simon, S. (1946) “Trottie True” Michael Joseph Ltd; London.  (p. 59)

 [3] Maqueen-Pope, W. (1949) “Gaiety, Theatre of Enchantment”, W.H. Allen,  London. (p. 394)

 [4] Maqueen-Pope, W, (1947) “Carrieges at Eleven, The Story of the Edwardian Theatre”, Hutchinson & Co; London. (p. 115 – 116)

September 26, 2011 Posted by | Actress, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Philco, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments