Agnes Ethel: Broadway Stage Actress

agnes-ethel

Agnes Ethel (1853-1903) was briefly one of the more popular and promising actresses of her time. She made her debut in New York in 1869 playing Camille. Augustin Daly signed her and she appeared in Play (1869). Daly’s biographer described Ethel as “a slender figure, candid eyes, flowing auburn hair, an oval face, and regular features always lit up by an expression of childish appeal.” Her biggest success was in Daly’s Frou-Frou  (1870). In 1873, he retired at the height of her career when she married Francis Tracy, a millionaire from Buffalo, New York. She stated her reason for leaving the stage was to aim “for quiet domesticity”. She spent post retirement supporting charities and helping struggling actors and actresses. When her husband died, she was involved in a nasty legal dispute about his will. She was eventually awarded his entire fortune. The photographer of this Cabinet card is the well known studio of Gurney & Son.

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