Farren, Nellie

BORN 16 Apr 1848, Liverpool, Lancashire - DIED 29 Apr 1904, London: 37 Sinclair Road, West Kensington
BIRTH NAME Farren, Ellen
CAUSE OF DEATH cardiac arrest
GRAVE LOCATION London: Brompton Cemetery, Old Brompton Road, West Brompton (7)

Ellen Farren, known as Nellie Farren, was best known for playing boys. She was born into a theatrical family. Her father Henry Farren (d.1860) and her grandfather William Farren (1786-1861) were both actors.

She debuted in 1853 at the Duke of York in "Richard III" at the Theatre Royal in Exeter. When she was seven years old she appeared at the Victoria Theatre in London. From 1864 onwards she worked at the Olympia Theatre for several years.

In 1867 she married the actor and stage manager Robert Soutar. They had two sons, Henry and Joseph, who both became actors as well.

In 1868 she moved to the Gaiety Theatre where she worked for 25 years. She performed in comedies as well as in plays by Shakespeare. In 1891 she appeared as Nan in "Good for Nothing" and this was her last regular part at the Gaiety Theatre because she suffered from rheumatic fever later that year in Australia and a spinal disease crippled her afterwards.

After a partial recovery in 1895 she returned to acting but without much success. On 17 March 1898 a benefit performance was staged for her by George Edwardes at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Among the participators were Henry Irving, Ellen Terry and Marie Tempest. She retired and died in London in 1904. Her grave at Brompton Cemetery in London was restored in 2014.

• Son: Soutar, Farren
• Husband: Soutar, Robert


The grave of Ellen Farren at Brompton Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (19 Aug 2017)


Nellie Farren - Wikipedia

Faßbender, Zdenka

Published: 14 Oct 2017
Last update: 11 Jun 2021