|ACTOR, SINGER (GREAT-BRITAIN)|
BORN 12 Feb 1870, London: Hoxton - DIED 7 Oct 1922, London|
REAL NAME Wood, Matilda Alice Victoria
GRAVE LOCATION London: Hampstead Cemetery, Fortune Green Road, Camden
Marie Lloyd was the youngest of eleven children of artificial flower maker John Wood. She started her acting career at a very young age as Bella Delamare and later changed her name to Marie Lloyd.
She was soon able to earn herself a good living and in 1887 she married Percy Courtenay, pretending she was already 18 years old instead of 17. Courtenay was a heavy drinker and treated her badly. By 1893 they were living apart and in 1894 the marriage ended. Her career went well and from 1891 until 1893 she performed in pantomine at Drury Lane. Her performances at Music Halls earned her the reputation of 'vulgar', but when she was invesigated by a Vigilance Committee she sang her songs more soberly and was acquitted.
After performances in the USA she met Alex Hurley in England. They fell in love and they performed in Australia. In 1906 she married Hurley, but she left him in 1910 for the young jockey Bernard Dillon, who had just won the Derby with his horse Lemburg. After Hurley died in 1913 she married Dillon.
But Dillon soon lost his licence and turned to drinking. As a result Marie started to drink herself. Her voice started to fail and she often appeared too late for her performances. In 1922 she collapsed on the stage. The audience thought it was part of the show and laughed, but three days later she died. Her funeral at Hampstead Cemetery was attended by a huge crowd.
Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Londoners, Robson Books, London, 1991
Past -- Marie Lloyd