Celebrity for the week ending
Saturday, 13 December 2008

Patti Josephs (1850-1908),
English actress

Muriel Brandt
a carte de visite photograph of Patti Josephs

(photo: Bassano, London, late 1860s)

'MR CHARLES DICKENS is now well enough to take an active interest in the preparation of David Copperfield at the Olympic Theatre. The piece in its embryo state is exciting unusual interest. Mr [Sam] Emery has been engaged for the character of Peggotty, and Miss Patti Josephs for that of Emily. Mr Dickens is attending the rehearsals of David Copperfield, and Mr Halliday's adaptation of the story will be produced with the full sanction and active co-operation of the author.'
(The Edinburgh Evening Courant, Edinburgh, Monday, 27 September 1869, p. 8f). Halliday's adaptation of David Copperfield, entitled Little Em'ly, was produced at the Olympic, London, on 9 October 1869.

'Miss Patti Josephs, a sister of Fanny Josephs, recently committed suicide by throwing herself from a window. She had been an inmate of the Philadelphia hospital. She was, some years back, at the Olympic and other London theatres, and in America married a Mr. Fitzpatrick.'
(Reynolds's Newspaper, London, Sunday, 29 October 1876, p. 8b)

'Death of Miss Patti Josephs.
'London playgoers will deeply regret to hear of the death of this young and charming actress, who expired at Philadelphia on the 5th of October [1876], under circumstances of an exceedingly painful kind, which will be found detailed below by an American correspondent. Readily may be recalled a bright series of impersonations embodied during the last dozen years at the St. James's, Olympic, Adelphi, and other Theatres. More especially will Miss Eliza Stuart Patti Josephs be remembered as the representative of Cupid in Cupid and Psyche at the Olympic, and afterwards at the same Theatre in Mr Halliday's drama Little Em'ly, where she played Little Em'ly with a prettiness and pathos which won the warmest sympathy of the audience. After this most successful performance Miss Patti Josephs left these shores to fulfil an engagement in America, where she married Mr John Fitzpatrick, an actor well known in this country and much esteemed by all who enjoyed his friendship in America. Scarcely twenty-seven when she died, the young actress has prematurely closed a career which promised brilliant results.
'Miss Patti Josephs had been confined to her residence for the past eight months with a complication of diseases, and on the evening of the 4th inst. she fell out of the third-story window of the building where she resided, at Eleventh and Locust-streets, Philadelphia, and, striking her head, sustained such severe injuries that she died shortly after being conveyed to the Pennsylvania Hospital. It is believed that, while temporarily insane from pain, she leaned out of the window, and,losing her balance, met with the sad accident that resulted in her death. She came of an old theatrical family, her father, the late Mr W.H. Josephs, having been a Manager of several Theatres in London and the Provinces, while her grandfather had managed a theatrical circuit in England. She was a sister of Mr Harry Josephs, the well-known comedian, and of the late Mr John H. Selwyn. Her sister Fanny is also an actress. Another one of her brothers is a well-known minister in Boston - the Rev. G.C. Lorimer of the Union Temple Church, in that city. Miss Patti Josephs made her first appearance in America at the Chestnut-street Theatre, Philadelphia, on the 14th of October, 1872, in Bronson Howard's comedy of Diamonds, and became a member of the stock company at that Theatre. Miss Josephs next played at Fox's American Theatre, Philadelphia, with Colville's burlesque troupe, which included Harry Beckett, Willie Edouin, and Eliza Weathersby, and which opened there May 19th, 1873. In December, 1874, Miss Josephs and her husband became members of the stock company at Fox's American Theatre, where they have remained ever since. She last appeared at Fox's in The Hidden Hand, about the 21st of February, 1876. The funeral took place on Sunday afternoon, October 8th, and the body was interred at Mount Moriah Cemetery, a large number of members of the dramatic profession attending the funeral.'
(The Era, London, Sunday, 29 October 1876, p. 13c)

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© John Culme, 2008