Fanny Davenport

Fanny Davenport
Fanny Lily Gipsey Davenport

(1850-04-10)April 10, 1850
Died September 26, 1898(1898-09-26) (aged 48)
Occupation Stage actress
Spouse(s) Edwin B. Price
Willet Melbourne MacDowell
Relatives Harry Davenport (brother)

Fanny Lily Gipsey Davenport (April 10, 1850 – September 26, 1898) was an English-American stage actress.


Fanny Davenport before joining the company of Augustin Daly in 1869

The eldest child of Edward Loomis Davenport and Fanny Elizabeth (Vining) Gill Davenport,[1] Fanny Lily Gypsey Davenport was born on April 10, 1850 in London.[2]: 233 

Most of her siblings were actors, including Harry Davenport. She was brought to the United States in 1854[3] and educated in the Boston public schools.[4] At age 7, she appeared at Boston's Howard Athenæum as Metamora's child,[citation needed] but her real debut occurred in February 1862 when she portrayed King Charles in Faint Heart Never Won Fair Lady at Niblo's Garden.[1]

In February 1862, she appeared in New York City at Niblo's Garden at the age of 12 as the King of Spain in Faint Heart Never Won Fair Lady.[4]

From 1869 to 1877, she performed in Augustin Daly's company;[1] and afterwards, with a company of her own, acted with especial success in Sardou's Fédora (1883) her leading man being Robert B. Mantell, Cleopatra (1890), and similar plays. She took over emotional Sardou roles that had been originated in Europe by Sarah Bernhardt. Her last appearance was at the Grand Opera House in Chicago[4] on March 25, 1898, shortly before her death.[citation needed]

Her first husband was Edwin B. Price, an actor. They married on July 30, 1879, and divorced on June 8, 1888. On May 18, 1889, she married her leading man, Melbourne MacDowell. Both marriages were childless.[1]

Davenport died September 26, 1898, from an enlarged heart, at her summer home in Duxbury, Massachusetts.[5]

Further reading

  • Benton, in Mckay and Wingate, Famous American Actors of To-Day (New York, 1896)
  • Montrose J. Moses, Famous Actor-Families in America (New York, 1906), pp. 226–254


  1. ^ a b c d James, Edward T.; James, Janet Wilson; Boyer, Paul S.; College, Radcliffe (1971). Notable American Women, 1607-1950: A Biographical Dictionary. Harvard University Press. pp. 435-436. ISBN 978-0-674-62734-5. Retrieved February 22, 2020. Presenting Fedora in New York in 1883 with Robert Mantell as her leading man, Fanny Davenport achieved such fame.
  2. ^ Moses, Montrose J. (September 1905). "Famous Families of Famous Players: The Davenports". Theatre Magazine. pp. 231–34. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  3. ^ "Obituary: Mrs. E. L. Davenport". The New York Times. July 22, 1891. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
  4. ^ a b c Fanny Lily Gypsey Davenport,; retrieved December 27, 2016.
  5. ^ "Fanny Davenport Dead; The Well-Known Actress Passes Away at Her Summer Home at Duxbury, Mass". The New York Times. September 27, 1898. Retrieved 2017-04-12.


External links