Foote, Lydia (DNB01)

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FOOTE, LYDIA (1844?–1892), actress, whose real name was Lydia Alice Legge, was a niece of Mary Anne Keeley [q. v. Suppl.] She made her first appearance at the Lyceum on 1 April 1852 as Edward, a child, in 'A Chain of Events.' She was subsequently at Sadler's Wells, the Victoria, and at Manchester, and made her first appearance at the Olympic, 31 Aug. 1863, replacing Miss Kate Saville as May Edwards in the 'Ticket-of-Leave Man.' On 1 Nov. 1864 she was the original Enid Gryftydd in Tom Taylor's 'Hidden Hand' ('L'Aieule'). She had an original part, Miss Hargrave, in Taylor's 'Settling Day' on 4 March 1863, played Mrs. Featherley in 'Everybody's Friend,' Maria in 'Twelfth Night,' Clara Vernon in Wilkie Collins's 'Frozen Deep,' and some original parts in burlesque. At the Prince of Wales's, Tottenham Street, she made, 6 April 1867, her great triumph as Esther Eccles in Robertson's 'Caste' (Times, 11 April 1867), was on 21 Dec. the original Lady Selina Raffleticket in Boucicault's 'How she loves him,' and on 15 Feb. 1868 the first Amanda in Robertson's 'Play.' At the Holborn on 5 Sept. she played the twin sisters Craddock in Byron's 'Blow for Blow.' At the Globe, in Byron's 'Minnie,' 29 March 1869, she was Minnie Vaughan, and 18 Sept. the heroine of Robertson's 'Progress.' At the Globe on 10 Feb. 1870 she was Philomel in Mr. Craven's 'Philomel,' and at the Holborn, 1 Oct., the heroine of Sefton Parry's 'Odds,' and 5 Dec. Madame d'Artignes in Boucicault's 'Jezebel.' In 1872 she was at the Gaiety, where she played Mary Thornberry in 'John Bull,' and was, 3 March 1873, at the Prince of Wales's the first Ann Silvester in Wilkie Collins's 'Man and Wife.' At the Princess's she was Ruth in the 'Lancashire Lass,' and 20 March 1875, at the Adelphi, Smike in 'Nicholas Nickleby.' On 30 Oct. she was Little Em'ly in a revival of the piece so named. At the St. James's she played Grace Harkaway in 'London Assurance,' and at the Adelphi Helen in the 'Hunchback' to the Julia of Lilian Adelaide Neilson [q. v.] in 1879. At the former house on 6 Jan. 1877 she was the first Anna in the 'Danischeffs;' at the latter, 30 Sept. 1879, the first Midge in Boucicault's 'Rescued,' and had, 21 Oct. 1880, an original part in Boucicault's 'O'Dowd.' On 5 Aug. 1881, at Drury Lane, she played an original part in 'Pluck' by Pettitt and Harris. She also took part at the Adelphi in many revivals. She died of cancer at Broadstairs 30 May 1892. Miss Foote was a good actress and possessed of remarkable pathos. Her Esther Eccles in 'Caste' and her Anna in the 'Danischeffs' could not easily have been surpassed.

[Personal knowledge; Pascoe's Dramatic List; Scott and Howard's Blanchard; Button Cook's Nights at the Play; Sunday Times, various years; Hollingshead's Gaiety Chronicles.]

J. K.