BORN 13 May 1864, Worcester, Worcestershire: Commandery Street - DIED 16 Sep 1952, London|
BIRTH NAME Powles, Matilda Alice
GRAVE LOCATION London: Putney Vale, Stag Lane (Grave 503 Block T)
Daughter of a comedy actor who was the stage manager at St George’s Music Hall on Parliament Street in Nottingham. She was on the stage from the time she was three years old and when she was six she impersonated the opera singer Sims Reeves as 'Pocket Sims'. She continued to do male parts and made herself a name with comical songs like "Girls are the Ruin of Men".
She married Walter de Frece, the son of a theatre owner, in 1890 and she continued her career in the chain of music halls that he founded. She also performed in the USA and her fame was at its height during the First World War. In 1916 she was in the movie "The Girl Who Loves A Soldier". In 1919 her husband was knighted and she became Lady de Frece.
Her last performance was at the Coliseum Theatre in London in 1920. After her husband's retirement they moved to Monte Carlo and after his death in 1935 she returned to England. In 1934 her memoirs, "Recollections of Vesta Tilley", were published.