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 – The Dollar Princess – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 27th August 1910

April 29, 2022 Posted by | Actress, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Dollar Princess, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Friday 21st September 1934



Memories of the Great Actresses and Stage Beauties of Twenty and Thirty Years Ago



WHAT has become of those people whom we delighted to watch on the stage twenty, twenty- five, and thirty years ago? Their names used to blaze forth in light in front of the theatres. The shop windows in those days were full of their postcards. Their faces appeared on the chocolate boxes, and all the world and his wife went to see them. Some, of course, survive and are big stars drawing capacity houses still. Many are dead, but many are still living, happy and prosperous. They have left the footlights for the fireside. You see them from time to time in restaurants and very often they go to first nights. That is where the playgoers show their loyalty and long memory. The old favourites, as soon as recognised, get hearty applause from the pit and gallery. The theatre public does not forget.

Although such a short time has elapsed between the cessation of the silent films and the triumph of the talkie, one wonders how many people to-day could name quickly twenty big people of the silent screen. Yet any theatre-goer will reel you off scores and scores of actors and actresses whom he remembers, although he has not seen or even heard of them for years.

You have not forgotten Ada Reeve. You remember her with her incisive style and general smartness in “Florodora,” if ou have forgotten much else, Some of you may remember her in a very charming play called “Winnie Brooke, Widow.” Few artists could sing a song with more point than Ada Reeve. A great personality – a woman of treat charm. She is still working and appears in South Africa and Australia with success. Perhaps one day London will see her again.

Many of you remember “The Dairymaids,” and if you remember “The Dairymaids” you will remember Carrie Moore. She left the stage to get married, and settled in Australia. A few months ago she was over here, happy and prosperous, doing a round of the theatres.

One of the most photographed beauties of her day was Miss Gabrielle Ray. Probably more picture postcards of this blonde beauty were sold than of any other actress. “Gabs” Ray was a Gaiety girl – a real one. She was beautiful to look at – slim and lovely, and she was one of the few actresses who had a really distinctive carriage and walk. She wasn’t a great singer but she could dance. When she appeared in pyjamas in “The Orchid” all London went to see her. She had a number, the chorus of which went:-


“She’s a pink pyjama girl all pink and rose

She’s a lovely little lady to adore.

If she’s a pink pyjama girl she’s all rightee

And she’ll never wear her nightie –

Any more.”


Not a great lyric, but it caught on. Perhaps it compares with some of the crooners’ stuff to-day such as:-


“Hocus pocus, Mr. Magician,

Won’t you bring my baby back to me?”

 Pyjamas for women were a novelty in those days and the gilded youth of the day stared its eyes out. Gabrielle Ray is married now and lives mostly in the country. She is some times, though rarely, seen at first nights, but when she appears in a restaurant old admirers flock round her.

Whilst on the subject of clothes, everyone remembers “A Little Pink Petty for Peter,” Gracie Leigh’s song in “Miss Hook of Holland.” Gracie was a great comedienne. She scored her triumphs at the Prince of Wales’s, the Adelphi, and elsewhere, Her husband, Lionel Mackinder, an excellent actor and a grand fellow, joined up the s moment war broke out and was the first actor to be killed in the Great War. Gracie Leigh never quite recovered from this. To-day she lives in a country cottage and is seldom seen. The stage misses her. There is nobody to-day quite like her.

At a first night of a musical comedy recently a little woman with fair hair was smiling excitedly and shaking hands with some friends. She was delighted to see Tom Reynolds, the producer, who happened to be there. It was Pauline Chase, perhaps the best known “Peter Pan” of them all. She is happily married. She lives in Sussex and she has a family, but there is still that same elfin charm about her.

ONE of the great stars of the Gaiety, a girl who reached “stardom” there in practically one night and who afterwards starred in many other theatres, is now the Dowager Countess of Dudley. Gertie Millar was the supreme example of what a musical comedy artist should be. Sing, act or dance, she could do it all. Her entrance to the stalls to-day brings the house to its feet. She still looks just the same, in spite of the title.

If you remember faces and are observant and happen to be at a matinee in the West End you will very likely see sitting near you one of the loveliest women that ever trod the British stage. Hers was another face that adorned the postcards, a face that everybody knew and which compelled admiration – Mabel Love – still beautiful, still attractive, still sees all the shows and very often brings along her daughter, who is a replica of what her mother was at that age.

Another lovely and gracious figure that was the idol of the public – a girl who set a fashion and burst in upon London at the Shaftesbury Theatre. At the never-to-be-forgotten first night of “The Belle of New York” Edna May was the talk of the town. She retired on her marriage, but she still goes frequently to the theatre and she still gets her round of applause. Nobody can remember “The Belle of New York” without remembering Edna May. This was a star who really burst into greatness overnight. Before “The Belle of New York” was produced nobody had heard of her. Next day she was Lon don’s greatest sensation. To-day you would know her at a glance.

One of the most magnetic personalities on the stage for many years became famous at the Palace Theatre. Teddie Gerrard was the embodiment of all that was daring. They even wrote her a song called “Naughty Naughty One Gerrard.” People went mad about her. There wasn’t so much talk about sex appeal in those days, otherwise she would have been im mediately coupled with it.

Teddie is another one who has retired. She has a nice little place in Surrey, with a charming house and quite a bit of ground. She has a villa in Capri and she lives surrounded by beautiful things, and she likes nothing better than to get old friends around her and to remember old times. Nor has she lost one fraction of her great attraction – she is still as compelling as ever.

THE name of Teddie Gerrard recalls that blonde 1 beauty, Gina Palerme. She was a great contrast to Teddie but she was a very beautiful woman. After her days at the Palace she put on a musical show at the Duke of York’s Theatre. So large was the company and so many were there in the chorus that they had not enough dressing rooms, and the chorus had to cross the roof of the theatre on a specially made wooden gangway and dress in two of the rooms comprising the flat which stands at the top of the Duke of York’s Theatre. Gina Palerme lives in Paris to-day.

Olive May, that dark, attractive dancer and soubrette, married into the peerage. She is a regular first-nighter and you will see her pictures under her married name in all the smart papers.

Elsie Janis, one of the really great stars, left the stage when “Mother” Janis died and went into the directing and writing side of the pictures. She is as clever at that as she was on the stage. A year or two ago she surprised all her friends by getting married. She still lives at Phillipse Manor at Tarrytown, New York. This is one of the oldest houses in America. It was built by a Captain Phillips, an officer in the British army, and for some time during the American War of Independence was the Headquarters of George Washington. Elsie adores her beautiful home and divides her time between it and the studios.

Two unforgettable stars whom one frequently sees on the public side of the footlights are Lily Elsie and Joe Coyne. Those who saw it will never forget the first night of “The Merry Widow.” Both of them, of course, were famous before then, but from then on they were on top of the world. Lily Elsie left the stage but has returned now and again to give us a sight of that elegant beauty of hers and it is to be devoutly hoped that she will come back again. She goes to all the shows and people lock around her.

JOE COYNE, one of the most youthful of our actors, must lever be allowed to retire. He is as quick and agile to-day as he was in the days of the “Widow.” He is always walking – he lives at a West End Hotel, and you can see him speeding round and round the Park with the carriage and gait of a boy of 17. Most days you can catch a glimpse of him in one of the most popular West End cafes. He will be eating ice cream, and lots of it. He is one of the great youths of the stage.

Another gracious and beautiful figure with a sweet face and a gentle manner still goes to all theatres. Occasionally she makes appearances on the screen, but you will always find her smiling, happy and proud, surrounded by flowers, in a box to watch her husband Seymour Hicks when he produces a new play. Ellaline Terriss, probably the sweetest natured woman that ever walked the British stage. Still everybody’s sweetheart.

These names spring to the memory. There are many more still living happily and still remembered by those who used to see them. For the public does not forget.

Going a little further back the name of Rosie Boote springs to one’s mind. This famous Gaiety Girl has never lost her love for the theatre. The Marchioness of Headfort to-day, and looking every inch a Marchioness, she is a regular first-nighter.

The beautiful Mary Anderson, one of the loveliest actresses ever seen upon the stage, now lives in happy retirement in very suitable surroundings in the lovely village of Broadway.

Mrs. Kendal, one of the really great names of the English stage, is now Dame Madge Kendal, retired many years, but she still takes the greatest interest in the welfare of her profession. She is always to the fore in any work of charity or in any movement that will alleviate the lot of the chorus girls or the people in the humbler walks of stage life.

Under the joint management of Mr. and Mrs. Kendal scores of great actors and actresses graduated. She and her husband ruled them with a rod of iron, but they made them work and they taught them their business.


LOVELIES OF THE LONG-AGO: Five famous stage beauties of the early part of this century. From the top are Ada Reeve, Gabrielle Ray, Pauline Chase, Gertie Millar and Mabel Love


ELSIE JANIS AND MRS. JANIS: The great Palace star (left) with her manager-mother – from an early photograph. Since the death of Mrs. Janis, Elsie, who is American, has been directing and writing for films.


STARS OF THE PAST: Five more stage beauties of earlier days, from contemporary postcard photographs. From the top are Edna May, Teddie Gerrard, Olive May, Lily Elsie and Ellaline Terriss


The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Friday 21st September 1934

An interesting article but given the publication date the author is incorrect about Miss Ray as she had divorced in 1914.


April 12, 2022 Posted by | Actress, Biography, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 21st August 1909

February 11, 2022 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Constance Drever – The Merry Widow – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 29th May 1909

The Dancing Girls.

Miss Constance Drever, the well-known London artist, in the title-role.        Mdlle. Therese Cernay, as the Ambassadress.



A French contemporary says that this long-awaited production follows 2,400 representations of the work in Germany and Austria, 3,000 in England, and 3,500 in America.

The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 29th May 1909




December 21, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Illustrated London News, The Merry Widow, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday1st August 1908

December 20, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Merry Widow – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – 18th July 1908

December 16, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, The Merry Widow, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – Little Red Riding Hood – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 3rd October 1903

The Lyric at Hammersmith relies on the attractions – and they are many – of yet another Little Red Riding Hood, the story here being set forth in fashion designed by Messrs. Brian Daly and J. M. East. Miss Gabrielle Ray admirably fulfils her duties as the heroine, and has excellent support from Miss Gracie Whiteford, a dashing Prince, Miss Lucie Edwards as Boy Blue, her sister as Bo-Peep, Mr. John Gourlay as the Baron, Mr. A. Watts as Simple Simon, and others.

The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 3rd October 1903


December 8, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Little Red Riding Hood, Pantomimes, Social History, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mabel Russell – The Dollar Princess – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 27th August 1910




Miss Mabel Russell joins the cast of “The Dollar Princess,” at Daly’s this evening, taking up the part of “Daisy”

during the absence of Miss Gabrielle Ray, who goes holiday-making for a couple of weeks.

The Globe – Monday 18th July 1910

October 6, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Dollar Princess, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Girl from Kay’s – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 22nd November 1902




THE long talked-of three-act musical play, The Girl from Kay’s, was produced at the Apollo Theatre on Saturday last under the direction of Mr. George Edwardes and in the presence of a crowded audience. Before getting into the theatre it found its way into the Law Courts, its original title having been the cause of offence to an eminent firm not altogether unknown in the world of fashion. It has exercised more wits than any other piece of its class, for, although it is announced as by Owen Hall, it is stated also that Messrs. Adrian Ross, Claude Aveling, Charles Taylor, and Bernard Rolt, with Miss Kitty Ashmead, are responsible for the lyrics, and no fewer than nine composers have had something to do with the music, the list including Messrs. Ivan Caryll, Lionel Monckton, Howard Talbot, Edward Jones, Bernard Rolt, Cecil Cook, Meyer Lutz, and A. D. Cammeyer, with Miss Ashmead again to complete the roll. The reader may be disposed to quote the ancient adage which hath it that “too many cooks spoil the broth,” and possibly the irrepressible joker will reply that there is only one Cook in the company referred to. Still it has to be said that the spoiling, in the opinion of many, had been done, and that considerable revision and cutting and “pulling together” will have to be effected if the piece is to he made thoroughly acceptable. Mr. Owen Hall has, as usual, exhibited a good dual of wit and caustic humour; there is ail abundance of tuneful and catchy music; the scenic artist and the costumier have worked wonders, and the company is composed of clever people, whose popularity has been well won and well deserved; but on the first night of representation the audience seemed to realise the fact that in certain scenes there was a lack of freshness, and that, particularly in the introduction of the Salvation Army business, there had been an attempt to extract good material from a mine that had been worked to the point of exhaustion. And thus it happened at the end that with the cheers of those who were satisfied, or pretended to be, there were mingled sounds that made discord for those behind the curtain.

The girl of the title is Winnie Harborough. She is a saucy little milliner, who arrives on the scene with the new hat for which Norah Chalmers is waiting in order that she may start on her honeymoon trip with young Harry Gordon, who has just made her his wife. It is seen at once that Harry and “the girl from Kay’s” are on a familiar footing, and it is evident, too, that Winnie has attracted the admiring attention of Max Hoggenheimer, the vulgar millionaire, who presently carries her on his motor-car to Flacton on-Sea, where the honeymoon is to be spent, and where are assembled not only Norah’s bridesmaids but some half-dozen of the prettiest of the assistants from the famous millinery establishment that furnished the bride’s going away hat. Trouble arises when Harry Gordon is by his new wife found kissing his old sweetheart, with whom he bolts back to London for a little dinner at the Savoy, where the other characters, including the millionaire and the milliner, of course, put in an appearance to make things as lively as possible. The bridegroom’s action, however, is only the outcome of his anger under reproach, and he quickly comes to the conclusion that, while Winnie is all very well for a flirtation, there is nobody like Norah for a wife. Reconciliation follows easily, and nobody who makes her acquaintance will be surprised to find that the dashing Winnie makes a dash for the man with the millions and carries him away captive.

This millionaire was represented by Mr. Willie Edouin, who may be trusted to work up the part, and to make much of it. The bride and bridegroom were well portrayed by, respectively, Miss Kate Cutler and Mr. Louis Bradfield, and Mr. Aubrey Fitzgerald made much of the role of the noodle secretary, the Hon. Percy Fitzthistle. Mr. E W. Garden, Mr. Fred Emney, and Mr. W. Cheesman also gave useful and diverting support. The audience gave a very hearty welcome to Miss Letty Lind on her reappearance, and all were delighted with her singing and dainty dancing in the character of Ellen, the lady’s-maid. The title part was filled with much animation and ability by Miss Ethel Irving. Those who see The Girl from Kay’s will probably come away from the theatre talking with admiration of “Mrs. Hoggenheimer of Park Lane”  – the song so spiritedly sung by Miss Irving in the closing act.


The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 22nd November 1902

July 5, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Girl from Kay's, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Dollar Princess – The Evening News (London) – Monday 27th September 1909

I’m constantly looking through the News Archive for snippets about Miss Ray and the piece below came up, what was interesting was the descriptions of the costumes worn by Lily Elsie, Emmy Wehlen and Miss Ray. Often there aren’t any illustration to accompany the piece but this had two, checking my collection I found two, one of Lily Elsie and one of Miss Ray that correspond with the descriptions, Emmy Wehlen I didn’t have any as she isn’t someone who’s cards I collect. I have added the images below along with the article.





Brilliant schemes of colour allied to the fascinating modes of today may be said to be the leading notes struck by the wonderful display of dress in Mr. George Edwardes’s new production, “The Dollar Princess,” at Daly’s Theatre. As usual, Miss Lily Elsie presents a series of the most lovely stage pictures in her character of the Dollar Princess, and the colours and fashion of her gowns accentuate the alluring charm of her own personality.

A Scheme of White, Blue, and Pink.

White, pale blue and pale pink have always been the three hues chosen as the fitting background of a pink and white skin, blue eves and golden brown hair, and it is noticeable that this charming trio appear in some form in every dress worn by Miss Lily Elsie. In the first act, this popular actress presents the striking silhouette demanded by the mode of the moment, and materialised in a straight tunic of soft white silk, slashed open at either side over it narrow scant underdress, and caught together by broad pocket-like plaques of Wedgwood blue silk embroidered in white.

The Piquant Tennis Dress.

Again the note of blue is struck in the wonderful tennis frock worn in the second act. The laveuse tunic of softest blue silk is turned up in the correct manner over an ethereal underdress of white de mouseeline de soir with entredeux of lace posed above draperies of palest pink chiffon, which give a lovely tint to the muslin. Very piquant is the fashion in which the tunic at the back is formed into a very fascinating sash drapery fringed deeply at the end. A corsage bouquet of pink roses and a most fascinating cabriolet hat of shot-blue satin with narrow velvet strings framing the pretty face and a knot of pink roses nestling at the left side still further carry out this colour scheme of pale-blue and pink.

A Gown of Dazzling Glitter.

Brilliantly scintillating is Miss Lily Elsie’s second gown in the same act, composed as it is of an exquisitely lovely underdress of soft lace, festooned with trails of button pink roses and horizontal bands of pale blue ribbon, worn beneath a glittering fringed stole of diamante chiffon and a long tunic of the like fabric. Draped from both arms and suspended partially from the shoulders is a lovely scarf of pink chiffon fringed with crystal and paste drops. The whole affect is one of dazzling beauty, and successfully conveys the sense and atmosphere of a multi-millionaire princess.

Wedgwood Blue Straw and Blue Roses.

The last act reveals Miss Lily Elsie in a long motor coat of white cloth with roll revers of white silk and a piquant bonnet of Wedgwood blue straw trimmed with a knot of pink roses. The coat is worn above a striking dress, showing the modish cuirass bodice of palest pink mousseline de sole, with a flounce of soft silk and revealing beneath the cuirass a broad band of pale-blue silk, which trims the underdress of chiffon. Again a graceful chiffon scarf of palest pink is knotted round the arms, giving another charming note to this pretty frock.

Pervenche Chiffon Velvet.

Very striking, also, are the gowns worn by Miss Emmy Wehlen. The first dress, of pervenche chiffon velvet, with its sash drapery arranged just below the knees and it’s guimpe of pervenche embroidered lace, is worn with a becoming hat of pervenche satin, trimmed with lovely beige-coloured plumes. In the tennis scene Miss Wehlen first appears in a tunic of pale blue chiffon garlanded with pink roses over a soft blue silk tunic, and a large white feather toque. This is exchanged for a most fascinating evening gown of white silk, with the corsage and panel embroidered in coral and gold, and a most effective touch is given by the striking draperies of black and silver tulle caught in from the shoulders to the arms, and matching the black and silver scarf swathed round the coiffure.

A Picturesque Evening Cloak.

Everyone will admire the picturesquely draped olive green velvet cloak trimmed with gold ornaments worn in the same scene by Miss Wehlen above an exquisitely fitting frock of palest grey-green satin charmeuse with a hint of pink. No will Miss Gabrielle Ray’s coat of pink satin be forgotten, worn above a white chiffon petticoat trimmed with medallion shaped ruches encircling Empire baskets of chiffon roses, and accompanied by the most fascinating Revolution bonnet of gold coloured straw trimmed with a tiny wreath of roses for which a net is substituted afterwards.

The Evening News (London) – Monday 27th September 1909

January 26, 2021 Posted by | Daly's Theatre, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Lily Elsie, Rotary, Social History, The Dollar Princess, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment