Woman of the Century/Fanny Lily Gipsy Davenport
DAVENPORT, Fanny Lily Gipsy, actor, born in London, England, 10th April. 1850. She is a daughter of the late Kdward Loomis Davenport, the well-known actor, who was born in Boston Mass., 15th November, 1814. and died in Canton, Pa., 1st September, 1877. Her mother was a daughter of Frederick Vining, manager of the Hay market Theater, Lot Ion, England. Miss Vining became the wife of Mr. Davenport 8th January, 1849. Fanny was their first child. Mr. and Mrs. Davenport came to the United States, where both were for years favorite actors. Fanny was educated in the public schools in Boston, Mass., where she made her debut as the child in " Metamora." At the age of twelve years she appeared in New York, in Niblo's, in "Faint Heart Never Won Fair Lady," making her deibut in that city 14th February, 1862. She afterwards played soubrette parts in Boston and Philadelphia, under Mrs. John Drew's management Augustin Daly found her there, and he called her to New York, where she played Effie in "Saratoga," Lady Gay Spanker, Lady Teazle, Nancy Sykes, Leah, Fanny Ten Evck and Mabel Renfrew. Encouraged by her evident success, she left Mr. Daly's company and formed a company of her own. She played "Olivia," in Philadelphia, and Miss Anna E. Dickinson's "An American Girl," both without success, when she conceived the idea of abandoning comedy and taking up tragedy. She induced Yictorien Sardou, of Paris, to give her the American rights to "Fedora," "La Tosca" and "Cleopatra," and in those roles she has won both fame and fortune in large degree. Her tours have been very successful, and the woman who was supposed to be merely a charming comedian has shown herself to be possessed of the very highest powers of tragedy. Miss Davenport, as she is known to. the world, has been twice married. Her first husband was Edwin H. Price, an actor, to whom she was married 30th July. 1889. She secured a divorce from him in 1888. She was married in 1889 to Melbourne McDowell, the principal actor in her company. Recently Miss Davenport has given American theater-goers great pleasure in the magnificent staging and dressing of her plays. She has advanced to the extreme front rank m the most difficult of all histrionic fields, and comparison with the greatest actors can not fail to show that she is one of the most successful women who have ever lived before the footlights.