Woman of the Century/Mary A. Wray

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WRAY, Mrs. Mary A., actor, born in 1805 and died in Newtown, N. Y., 5th October, 1892. Her maiden name was Retan. She became the wife of Mr. Wray in 1826, and soon afterward she went on the stage, making her debut as a dancer in the Chatham Street Theater, in New York City. She made rapid progress in the dramatic art. and appeared as Lady Macbeth with Edwin Forrest in the Walnut Street Theater, Philadelphia, Pa. She then played for six years in the Old Bowery Theater, in New York City, where she supported Junius Brutus Booth, the father of Edwin Booth. She traveled through the South with a company in which Joseph Jefferson and John Ellsler appeared in Charleston, S. C. In 1848 she was a member of the Seguin Opera Company. In 1864 she retired from the stage. Her family consisted of four children. One of her sons was known on the minstrel stage as "Billy Wray." He lost his life in the burning of the "Evening Star," on the way from New York to New Orleans, in 1866. Her other son, Edward, died in the same year in Illinois. Two daughters and a number of grandchildren survive her. Mrs. Wray was for over thirty-five years a member of the American Dramatic Fund. She was a woman of conspicuous talents and high character, and was, at the time of her death, the oldest representative of the American stage.