Cigarette card for the week ending
Saturday, 25 July 2009

Minnie French (c. 1866-1899),
American dancer and actress,
formerly with her sister, billed as The French Twin Sisters

Minnie French

Minnie French

(photo: unknown, USA, mid 1890s)

This real photograph cigarette card from one of the Ogden's Guinea Gold Cigarettes series was published in England about 1900.

The ex-Actress Expires Suddenly from
Heart Disease.

'Mrs. Minnie Alice Evans, the wife of Charles E. Evans, one of the proprietors of the Herald Square Theatre, who was better known to the theatregoing public a few years ago as Minnie French, died suddenly yesterday morning at her home, 207 West One Hundred and Twenty-third Street. Mrs. Evans, who had been in poor health since she broke her leg while cycling last Summer, retirned early on Tuesday night, and her mother, Mrs. Hannah French, who lived in the house with her, was awakened early yesterday morning by hearing groans in her daughter's room. She believed Mrs. Evans to be in convulsions, and sent immediately for Dr. O'Brien of 185 East One Hundred and Sixteenth Street. When the latter reached the house Mrs. Evans was dead.
'Dr. O'Brien said he believed her death was due to heart disease, but would not issue a certificate of death, because he had not been in attendance. He reported the case to the West One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street Police Station, notified Coroner Zucca, and the latter had his physician, Dr. Hamilton Williams, perform an autopsy. Death was found to be due to heart disease.
'Mr. Evans was in Philadelphia with his company, The French Maid, and upon being apprised of his loss by telegraph returned to this city yesterday afternoon.
'Minnie French was thirty-six years old, and with her twin sister, Helen, the wife of the late William F. Hoey, (''Old Hoss,'') went on the vaudeville stage when she was fourteen years old. The sisters were billed as the ''French Twins,'' and were very successful as a song and dance team, and continued in favor until the end of their vaudeville career. That was a number of years ago, when Evans & Hoey were playing A Parlour Match, Jennie Yeamans had been playing the role of the Innocent Kidd, but had a falling out with the management, and in order to secure Minnie French to take her place the management engaged the sisters for the play. Minnie French made a hit as Innocent Kidd and in some of the other farces in which Evans and Hoey played. Helen French married ''Old Hoss'' Hoey, and later Mr. Evans married Minnie French. When Mr. Evans became a manager Mrs. Evans retired from the stage. She had one child, a boy.'
(The New York Times, New York, Wednesday, 5 January 1899, p. 7)

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© John Culme, 2009