Ella Retford (1886 - 1962)

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Managed by: Michael Rhodes
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About Ella Retford

<The Times, June 30, 1962>

<MISS ELLA RETFORD>

Miss Ella Retford, a veteran of variety who was a star in the early days of the century when the old time music-hall was in the heyday of its existence, died in a London hospital yesterday at the age of 76.

She made her first appearance as a dancer in 1900. Subsequently she turned to the singing of "coon songs," appearing at nearly every music hall of note in the United Kingdom.

By 1909 she was playing the principal boy in pantomime at Sheffield and seven years later she was Prince Fortune in "Cinderella" at the London Opera House. Pantomime always had a special fascination for her and she was seen at Christmas in Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool as well as in London again at the Scala and her last appearance as pantomime principal boy was in "Mother Goose" at Newcastle upon Tyne in 1949. In 1913 she had a leading part in the revue "Eightpence a Mile" at the Alhambra; in 1930 she toured South Africa. Among the most popular songs of her musical period were "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey", "My Bungalow in Borneo", "Be Sure He's Irish", and "By the Light of the Silvery Moon".

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Ella Retford's Timeline

1886
1886
1962
1962
Age 76