THEATER ACTRESS MISS ALMA STANLEY (PORTRAIT BY MARC GAMBIER)

ACTRESS BY GAMBIER_0002Theater actress Miss Alma Stanley is the subject of this cabinet card portrait by talented photographer Marc Gambier. To view other photographs by Gambier, click on the category “Photographer: Gambier.  In this photograph, Miss Stanley is in costume and wearing a military style uniform with sash and sword. She appears to be saluting or staring into the distance and shielding her eyes from a fictional sun. This full body photograph highlights her thin waist. The photograph is a bit risque for its time. The backdrop and the scenery are expertly done. She truly appears to be standing outdoors. Alma Stanley (1853-1931) was a multi-talented English entertainer. She was an actress, dancer, comedienne, and singer. She appeared in such roles as Little Don Caesar de Bazan. A theater magazine reported that Miss Stanley was the daughter of an English army officer who named her Alma in honor of  the battle in the Crimea War. The battle of Alma occurred in 1854 and Alma Stanley was born in 1853 so the story of how she received her name likely falls under the realm of  “public relations”. She made her first stage appearance in Milan in 1872 and her first English appearance in the following year. Her New York debut occurred in 1880. She performed with D’Oyly Carte  Opera Company as well as with Tony Pastor’s Broadway Theater. Alma Stanley died in a London jail cell. She was being held on a charge of drunkenness when she died of  “natural causes”. At the time of her incarceration, her jailers did not know her identity.

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