May Leslie Stuart

May Leslie Stuart (1886 – June 20, 1956), born Mary Catherine Barrett, was an English actress and singer in operetta and Edwardian musical comedy from 1909 to 1915. She also sang on the vaudeville circuit, performing with her father, British composer Leslie Stuart.

May Leslie Stuart
May Leslie Stuart, photographed by Lallie Charles (c. 1910)
Mary Catherine Barrett

DiedJune 20, 1956
Richmond (London)
Occupationactress, singer

Early life

Stuart was born in London, the daughter of composer Leslie Stuart (born Thomas Augustine Barrett) and his wife, Katherine Mary Fox.[1][2] Her younger sister Constance ("Lola") married an American banker and, while living in Maine, taught a young George H. W. Bush to play tennis.[3] Her father's song "Sweetheart May" was written about Stuart when she was a girl.[1]


Stuart acted and sang on the London stage, with roles in Pinkie and the Fairies (1909),[4] Sunlight and Shadow (1910),[5] The Slim Princess (1910),[6] The Count of Luxembourg (1911), The Hope (1911), Delhi in The Crown of India (1912),[7] an adaptation of Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford (1913),[5] The Girl Next Door (1915),[8][9] Florodora (1915 revival)[10][11] and The Case of Lady Camber (1915). A reviewer mentioned her "brilliant" acting in creating the role of Lady Camber as a highlight of the last work.[12]

Stuart appeared in one British silent film, The Second Mrs. Tanqueray (1916).[13] She appeared on the vaudeville stage[14] and made some recordings as a singer in 1915, in both settings accompanied by her father on piano, and singing his songs.[15][16]

In 1910, she was the subject of a photograph in Lallie Charles' exhibit, "Five Hundred Fair Women".[17] Later in life, she wrote radio scripts and was an on-air presenter for the BBC.[1][18][19]

Personal life

In 1911, she married a fellow actor, Cecil Cameron, son of actress Violet Cameron.[20] They divorced in 1916.[21] She married again in 1917, to James Mayhew, a theatrical producer; they had a daughter, Mary.[1] Stuart died in 1956, in Richmond, London. Her obituary in Variety indicated that she was involved in theatrical production later in life.[22]


  1. Lamb, Andrew (2002). Leslie Stuart: Composer of Florodora. Psychology Press. pp. 29, 36, 56–58. ISBN 9780415937474.
  2. "Miss May Leslie Stuart, daughter of Mr. Leslie Stuart". The Sketch. 56: 58. October 24, 1906.
  3. "Lola Stuart-Hine". Tampa Bay Times. October 7, 1988. p. 33. Retrieved May 23, 2019 via
  4. "Pinkie and the Fairies". The Observer. December 19, 1909. p. 6. Retrieved May 23, 2019 via
  5. Wearing, J. P. (2013-12-19). The London Stage 1910-1919: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810893009.
  6. Bull, George (March 6, 1910). "Will Appear in Father's Play in America". Detroit Free Press. p. 52. Retrieved May 22, 2019 via
  7. "Untitled item". The Observer. March 10, 1912. p. 7. Retrieved May 23, 2019 via; The Stage year book. Robarts – University of Toronto. London Carson & Comerford. 1913. p. 140 via Internet Archive.CS1 maint: others (link); and "Sir Edward Elgar's Masque". The Guardian. March 12, 1912. p. 14. Retrieved May 22, 2019 via This performance was a one-day masque, with music by Edward Elgar, that marked the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India, for their coronation as Emperor and Empress of India.
  8. The Stage Year Book. Robarts - University of Toronto. London Carson & Comerford. 1916. p. 97.CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. "Savoy Show Finally On". Variety: 4. October 1915 via Internet Archive.
  10. "Theatre Heritage Australia - Florodora". Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  11. "Florodora Reviva". The Observer. February 21, 1915. p. 11. Retrieved May 23, 2019 via
  12. "Well-Made Tragedy". The Guardian. October 18, 1915. p. 8. Retrieved May 23, 2019 via
  13. "Sir George Alexander Comes to Australia in the Pictures". Table Talk. June 28, 1917. pp. 18, 33. Retrieved May 23, 2019 via Trove.
  14. "British Composer, Leslie Stuart, Dies". The New York Times. March 28, 1928. p. 27 via ProQuest.
  15. "Florodora". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  16. "Musical Comedy Composer Dies". The Daily Colonist. April 8, 1928. p. 36. Retrieved May 22, 2019 via Internet Archive.
  17. "Miss May Leslie Stuart, in the Exhibition of 'Five Hundred Fair Women'", The Playgoer and Society Illustrated (1910): 224.
  18. "The Life of Leslie Stuart". The Radio Times (1411). 1950-11-24. p. 18. ISSN 0033-8060. Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  19. "A Leslie Stuart Programme". The Radio Times (331). 1930-01-31. p. 48. ISSN 0033-8060. Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  20. "A Drury Lane Romance". The Guardian. October 7, 1911. p. 8. Retrieved May 23, 2019 via; and Who's who in the Theatre. Pitman. 1922. p. 1002.
  21. "Cecil Cameron Divorced". Variety. July 14, 1916. p. 4. Retrieved May 22, 2019 via Internet Archive.
  22. "May Leslie-Stuart". Variety. June 27, 1956. p. 63. Retrieved May 22, 2019 via Internet Archive.
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