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Marie Lloyd
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    (February 12, 1870-October 7, 1922)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Matilda Alice Victoria Wood
    Appeared in the Drury Lane pantomimes ‘Humpty Dumpty’ (1891), ‘Little Bo Peep’ (1892), and ‘Robinson Crusoe’ (1893)
    Performed the songs ‘The Boy I Love Is up in the Gallery,’ ‘My Old Man (Said Follow the Van),’ ‘Oh Mr. Porter, What Shall I Do?’ ‘What’s That For, Eh?’ ‘She’d Never Had Her Ticket Punched Before,’ ‘Oh, You Wink the Other Eye’ and ‘A Little of What You Fancy Does You Good’
    Nicknamed ‘Queen of the Music Hall’
    She frequently was truant from school.
    She was fired from a job in a hat factory when the foreman caught her dancing on the tables.
    She began performing under her birth name, then as Bella Delmere, before becoming Marie Lloyd.
    Arnold Bennett said her songs were all ‘variations of the same theme of sexual naughtiness.’
    She was omitted from the first Royal Command Performance (July 1, 1912) because of concerns about the ‘vulgarity’ of her material.
    Upon arriving in America for a vaudeville tour, she and her lover, jockey Bernard Dillon, were detained at Ellis Island for 24 hours after authorities discovered that they were not husband and wife as they claimed on their visas (1914).
    She made many of her own costumes, having learned dressmaking from her mother.
    Her first and third husbands were physically abusive.
    In a case of blaming the victim, she was fired from the Empire Theatre when her first husband, Percy Courtenay, tried to hit her with his walking stick while shouting, ‘I will gouge your eyes out and ruin you,’ and missed her, striking another actress (May, 1894).
    During a strike by music hall performers for better working conditions (1907), she donated generously to the strike fund and performed for picketers to lift their spirits.
    She toured munitions factories and soldiers’ hospitals to boost morale during World War I.
    Over 50,000 people attended her funeral and six hearses were needed to carry the flowers during the funeral procession.

Credit: C. Fishel

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