Cigarette card for the week ending
Saturday, 10 May 2008

Della Fox (1871-1913),
American actress and singer

Della Fox

Della Fox

(photo: unknown, New York, circa 1895)

A real photograph cigarette card from one of the Guinea Gold Cigarettes series issued by Ogdens of Liverpool, England, in the mid-late 1890s. The subject is the American actress and singer Della Fox.

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'FOX, Miss Della May (Mrs. Jacob David Levy):
'Actress and light opera singer, born in St. Louis October 13, 1872. Her father was A.J. Fox, a photographer. She made her first appearance on the stage when she was seven years old as the Midshipmite [sic] in a children's Pinafore company. She next appeared in a child's part in A Celebrated Case, James O'Neill being the star. She first attracted attention as the creator of the part of Editha in Augustus Thomas's dramatization of Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett's story, Editha's Burglar. This was produced by the Dickson Sketch Club, of St. Louis, an organization which included Augustus Thomas and Edgar Smith, both now well-known playwrights. Miss Fox in her early 'teens joined the Bennett and Moulton Opera Company and sang leading soprano rles. She next was engaged by Heinrich Conried for the soubrette part in the opera The King's Fool, and attracted attention with the song "Fair Columbia." In May, 1890, De Wolf Hopper made his first appearance as a star in Castles in the Air at the Broadway Theatre, New York. Miss Fox was selected, chiefly on account of her small stature, to play the soubrette part of Blanche, and principally through the medium of the "Athletic Duet" she shared the success of the opera with the elongated star [Hopper was exceptionally tall]. The following summer, when Wang was produced in New York, she made her greatest triumph in the part of Mataya particularly by her singing of "Another Fellow." Next she appeared with Hopper in Panjandrum, and in August, 1894, she became a star in Goodwin and Furst's opera, The Little Trooper, which was followed by Fleur-de-Lis by the same author and composer. Miss Fox appeared with Lillian Russell and Jefferson De Angelis in The Wedding Day at the Casino, New York, in the fall of 1897, and the following year starred in The Little Host. At this time she suffered a serious illness, and her life was despaired of for months. After her recovery she made a few appearances in vaudeville in 1900. December 26 of that year she was married to Jacob David Levy, a New York diamond broker, at Boston. Since then she has appeared chiefly in vaudeville houses.'
(Walter Browne and E. De Roy Koch, Who's Who on the Stage, B.W. Dodge & Co, New York, 1908, pp.177 and 178)

For further information, see Kurt Gnzl, The Encyclopedia of The Musical Theatre, Blackwell, Oxford, 1994, vol.I, p.485.

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- John Culme, 2008