The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Helen Barry

Helen Barry

A carte-de-visite portrait of the British actress Helen Barry (1840-1904).

Born Elizabeth Short at Lee in Kent, when she was fifteen years old she married Joseph Brandon, a Belgian, on 3 May 1855. The marriage was dissolved at her husband’s request in 1870 and shortly afterwards Helen began her career on the stage. She performed leading roles in West End theatres in the 1870s in comedy, burlesque and drama.

In 1877 she married again, this time to a man 20 years her senior, Alexander Rolls, the former Mayor of Monmouth. She briefly moved to Wales but she was acting again in London by 1880 and her husband died in 1882. Within a year she was remarried and widowed once more. Her third husband was Harry George Bolam, a land agent and mining engineer. The couple moved to New York but Bolam died there suddenly of pneumonia on 23 March 1883. Helen continued her stage career, both in New York and London, for more than a decade.

She died on 20 July 1904 in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Photographed by the London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company.


Code: 125722
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