The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Teresa Furtado

Teresa Furtado

A carte-de-visite portrait of the actress Teresa Furtado (Mrs. John Clarke), 'a very pretty actress, who ... made a great hit as various heroines of melodrama' (Erroll Sherson, London's Lost Theatres of the Nineteenth Century, p. 274).

Born Teresa Elizabeth Furtado on 6 June 1845 at 19, Edward Street, Hampstead Road, London, her father was Charles Furtado, a London-born professor of music. She appears on the 1851 census as Theresa Furtado, aged 5, living at 70, Torrington Square, Bloomsbury, with her parents. Her father, Charles Furtado, gave his profession as ‘singing master.’ She made her début on the stage at the New Royalty theatre on 8 February 1864 as ‘Mercury’ in Burnaud’s burlesque Ixion. Among characters of which she was afterwards the first representative were ‘Helen’ in the burlesque of the same name by Burnaud (1866), ‘Fantine’ and ‘Cosette’ in The Yellow Passport (1868), ‘Eve’ in an adaptation from Augier of the some name (1869), ‘Rose Fielding’ in The Willow Copse (1869), ‘Florence Bristowe’ in The Prompter’s Box (1870), ‘Esmeralda’ in Halliday’s Notre Dame (1871), ‘Hilda’ in Halliday’s play of the same name (1872) and ‘Mabel’ in Mabel’s Wife (1872). She also appeared in London in W.S. Gilbert’s Harlequin Cock Robin (1867), as the ‘Marquise d’Epimay’ in Narcisse (Lyceum, 1868) and as ‘Mabel Vane’ in Masks and Faces (Olympic, 1869).

On 10 August 1873 she married the comedic character actor John Clarke. The couple had two children. Teresa died on 9 August 1877 at 77, Mornington Street, Regent’s Park, London.

[Sources: Frederick Boase’s Modern English Biography (1892) and W.D. Adams’s Dictionary of the Drama (1904).]

According to a report in The Preston Chronicle and Lancashire Advertiser (Saturday 18 August 1877): 'A severe attack of pleurisy and congestion of the lungs had during the early summer compelled her to decline all professional engagements; but her death, which occurred on Thursday evening at her residence in Mornington-road [sic], Regent's Park, came with a sudden and painful surprise on her husband and family.' Her husband died less than two years later (20 February 1879) of 'rapid consumption', aged only 49.

Photographed by Lock and Whitfield of London.

The reverse of the mount carries a printed programme for the Theatre Royal, Birmingham, where Teresa Furtado and her husband John Clarke were appearing 'for six nights only'.


Code: 123775
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© Paul Frecker 2019