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Ethel Lavenu in 'The Duke's Motto'

Ethel Lavenu in 'The Duke's Motto'

The British stage actress Ethel Lavenu (1842-1917) was the mother of stage and silent screen actor Tyrone Power, Sr., and grandmother of the Hollywood film star Tyrone Power. She is seen here in the melodrama The Duke’s Motto, in which she appeared at the Lyceum Theatre in January 1863. Written by John Brougham, the play was an adaptation of Le Bossu [The Hunchback] by Paul Feval.

Ethel Lavenu was born in Chelsea as Eliza Lavenu, the third of six daughters of the cellist, composer, and music impresario Lewis Henry Lavenu by his wife Julia, daughter of Col. John Blossett, head of the British expedition to assist Simon Bolivar in the war of independence in Venezuela. Her father was often away on tour, and in 1855 left for Sydney leaving the family in London. At the time of the 1861 census, Ethel was living with her mother at 128, Long Acre, Covent Garden; she, her elder sister Ada, and younger sister Alice were all listed as ‘Professional,’ and her youngest sister Bessie also later became an actress.

Ethel had more success than her sisters. By 1863 she was appearing in various plays at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, London. In 1866, she married Harold Littledale Power, the youngest son of the Irish actor Tyrone Power. She had two sons, George Arthur, born in 1868, an actor, known as Littledale Power, who later appeared on Broadway, and Frederick Tyrone Edmond, now known as Tyrone Power, Senior.

Photographed by the Southwell Brothers of London.

Code: 124469
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© Paul Frecker 2019