Edith's Top Matches
About Edith Day
<The Times, May 3, 1971>>
<<MISS EDITH DAY>>
<Musical Comedy actress>
Miss Edith Day, who has died in a London hospital at the age of 75, was an American musical comedy actress who established a reputation in London in a single night.
It was in 1920 that she made her first London appearance at the old Empire Theatre in the musical comedy _Irene_, as the girl who lived in a New York tenement house and dreamed, on the fire escape staircase, of the hero who would one day come into her life. At first a demure shrinking figure with her hair tied with a ribbon which seemed to have come straight off a chocolate box, her stature grew as her dreams materialised. By the end of the evening she had danced and sung her way into the hearts of her audiences who attended over 300 performances and who left the Empire humming one of the two songs which captured London, _Alice-blue Gown_ and _Irene O'Dare_.
Born at Minneapolis on April 10, 1896, she made her first appearance in New York in _Pom Pom_ during the First World War, but her first considerable success was in the American production of the musical comedy _Going Up_ at the end of 1917, which ran for 350 performances. This was followed by _Irene_ which ran for 670 performances, but she left the American cast in the early days of the run to appear in London in the part which she had created. There were some critics who wondered, in the fierce competition which prevailed in the London theatre, Edith Day could repeat her success in later productions, but she soon provided the answer. She reigned supreme at Drury Lane from 1925 to the beginning of 1930, playing the leading part in _Rose Marie_ (851 performances), _The Desert Song_ (432 performances), _Show Boat_ (350 performances), and a revival of _Rose Marie_ which scored another hundred performances. There is no doubt that she did much to ensure the success of the new Drury Lane policy of producing spectacular musical plays which Sir Alfred Butt had inaugurated. Her third great success at Drury Lane was in _Show Boat_ in the part of Magnolia Hawks in which she easily held her own, despite the competition of two other great artists, Mr. Paul Robeson and Miss Marie Burke, in addition to a mass of elaborate spectacle. Thereafter Miss Day appeared in London in _Rio Rita_, in a revival of _The Desert Song_, and in _Sunny River_. She broadcast on a number of occasions and appeared in the variety theatres.
In 1960 she appeared in Noel Coward's _Waiting in the wings_. She was three times married. Her third husband Henry Horne, died some years ago. Her son was killed in the Second World War.