Fanny Davenport

Fanny Lily Gipsey Davenport (April 10, 1850 – September 26, 1898) was an Anglo-American stage actress.

Fanny Davenport
Fanny Davenport
Fanny Lily Gipsey Davenport

(1850-04-10)April 10, 1850
DiedSeptember 26, 1898(1898-09-26) (aged 48)
OccupationStage actress
Spouse(s)Edwin B. Price
(m.1879, divorced)
Willet Melbourne MacDowell
RelativesHarry Davenport (brother)


The eldest child of Edward Loomis Davenport and Fanny Vining Davenport, Fanny Lily Gypsey Davenport was born on April 10, 1850 in London.[1]:233

Most of her siblings were actors, including Harry Davenport. She was brought to the United States in 1854[2] and educated in the Boston public schools.[3] At age 7, she appeared at Boston's Howard Athenæum as Metamora's child, but her real début occurred in 1862.

In February 1862, she appeared in New York City at Niblo's Garden at the age of 12 as the King of Spain in Faint Heart Never Won Fair Lady.[3]

In 1869 she joined Augustin Daly's company; and afterwards, with a company of her own, acted with especial success in Sardou's Fédora (1883) her leading man being Robert B. Mantell, Cleopatra (1890), and similar plays. She took over emotional Sardou roles that had been originated in Europe by Sarah Bernhardt. Her last appearance was at the Grand Opera House in Chicago[3] on March 25, 1898, shortly before her death.

Her first husband was Edwin B. Price, an actor. They married in 1879 and later divorced. She was the wife of Melbourne MacDowell (later a silent movie actor), her second husband, whom she married in 1889.

Davenport died September 26, 1898, from an enlarged heart, at her summer home in Duxbury, Massachusetts.[4]

Further reading

  • Benton, in Mckay and Wingate, Famous American Actors of To-Day (New York, 1896)
  • Montrose J. Moses, Famous Actor-Families in America (New York, 1906), pp. 226–254


  1. Moses, Montrose J. (September 1905). "Famous Families of Famous Players: The Davenports". Theatre Magazine. pp. 231–34. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  2. "Obituary: Mrs. E. L. Davenport". The New York Times. July 22, 1891. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
  3. Fanny Lily Gypsey Davenport,; retrieved December 27, 2016.
  4. "Fanny Davenport Dead; The Well-Known Actress Passes Away at Her Summer Home at Duxbury, Mass". The New York Times. September 27, 1898. Retrieved 2017-04-12.


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