The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Miss Violet Cameron

Miss Violet Cameron

A hand-coloured carte-de-visite portrait of the British actress Violet Cameron (1862-1919).

Born Violet Lydia Thompson on 7 December 1862, she began her career as a child performer, graduating to tours with her aunt, burlesque legend Lydia Thompson, before achieving stardom as the ingénue in Les Cloches de Cornville. She added to her fame with several scandalous love affairs, but her popularity stemmed from her stellar performances in the London premieres of popular French operettas. She played Bettina in La Mascotte, the title role in Boccaccio (1882), Gretchen in Rip Van Winkle, and the title role of Falka (1883). Cameron's Broadway début plans collapsed when the American newspapers exposed her latest illicit liaison. She returned to Britain, where she remained active in theatre and music halls for the next twenty years. She made her final appearance as the Mother Superior in Henry Hamilton's and Paul Potter's musical play The School Girl (1903).

She died after a short illness at Holindale, Madeira Avenue, Worthing, Sussex, on 25 October 1919, and was buried on 30 October at Broadwater cemetery, Worthing. Though only fifty-six when she died, she had long since departed from the London stage: she was admiringly recalled by a diminishing few who had witnessed her brilliant though intermittent career in comic opera and opera bouffe.

Photographed by the London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company.


Code: 124813
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© Paul Frecker 2019