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Davenport, Fanny


Miss [Fanny] Davenport was born to the stage. She could trace the history clear through several generations. Mary Anne Davenport of the last century was a noted English actress. Miss Davenport’s parents were Edward Loomis Davenport, an actor almost great, and Fanny Elizabeth Vining, an English actress of a noted family of actors. She therefore came of rare dramatic stock. She was born in London, England, in 1849, and was once of the six Davenport children who have appeared upon the stage, of whom Edgerton and Harry are the only ones still connected with it.

It is told that when a mere child Fanny Davenport wrote a play and acted it, with the assistance of the children in the neighbourhood who had aspirations. At the tender age of 12 she had read every book on a theatrical topic within reach, which is proof positive that a love of the stage was born in her, as children are not commonly fond of such literary subjects. Her father was for a time manager of the Boston Athenaeum, and this brought her under the spell of many important actors, and thus every influence was quickly at work to determine her professional career.

She came to this country with her mother in the summer of 1854 and began her dramatic career at the Athenaeum when a mere child appearing in “Metamora,” and that was the beginning of a career that has covered a period of more than 35 tears. At that early period she also appeared as one of the school children in Brougham’s burlesque of “Pocahontas,” and later in the ballet of “The Star-Spangled Banner” when E. L. Davenport and Harry Watkins opened the Chambers Street theater in New York. She had no part to play and no lines to speak, however, and she was first seen in that city as an actress at Niblo’s Garden on Feb. 14, 1862, when she played Charles I. in “Faint Heart Never Won Fair Lady” to the Ruy Gomez of E. L. Davenport.

At the age of 14 she was attached to the Philadelphia and Boston theatres, and also played a season at Barney McCauley’s theater in Louisville in the “Black Crook,” and later essayed the part of Nancy Sykes. In the fall of 1869 she made a splendid dash forward from soubrette at the Arch Street theater, Philadelphia [. . .]

The Anaconda Standard 9/28/1898: 8. Print.

Davenport, The Anaconda Standard, 9/28/1898, 8