Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Addison, Laura

ADDISON, LAURA (d. 1852), actress, made her first appearance upon the stage in November 1843, at the Worcester Theatre, as Lady Townley in the ‘Provoked Husband.’ Her family had opposed her desire to become an actress; she had no introduction, teacher, or patron, but was altogether self-instructed. She was very favourably received by the public. She fulfilled an engagement at Glasgow, and, playing Desdemona to the Othello of Macready, secured the good opinion and the friendship of that tragedian. At his instance, after she had played with success at Dublin and Edinburgh, she was engaged by Mr. Phelps, and made her first appearance at Sadler's Wells, then under his management, in August 1846, as Lady Mabel in the ‘Patrician's Daughter’ of Westland Marston. She remained at Sadler's Wells three seasons, representing Juliet, Portia, Isabella in ‘Measure for Measure,’ Imogen, Miranda, and Lady Macbeth; she appeared as Panthea upon the revival of Beaumont and Fletcher's comedy of ‘A King and no King;’ and she was the first representative of Margaret Randolph and Lilian Saville in the poetic tragedies of ‘Feudal Times’ and ‘John Saville of Haysted,’ by the Rev. James White. In 1849 she was playing at the Haymarket with Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kean, and in 1850 she accepted an engagement at Drury Lane under Mr. Anderson's management, representing the characters of Mrs. Haller in the ‘Stranger,’ Mrs. Beverley in the ‘Gamester,’ Bianca in ‘Fazio,’ and Leonora in an English version of Schiller's ‘Fiesco,’ &c. &c. In 1851 she left England for America, and died the following year on a voyage from Albany to New York.

[Tallis's Drawing Room Table Book, 1851.]

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