|Birth: ||Mar. 15, 1837|
|Death: ||Jun. 16, 1891|
19th Century American stage actress. Fanny Brown was the daughter of Thomas McFarland. She was an actress who became well known after her photograph was found on John Wilkes Booth's dead body in 1865.
At the age of six, she made her stage debut in Boston as a fairy, and then played Puck in "A Midsummer's Night's Dream" at the Boston Theatre at age nineteen. Brown appeared for the first time in New York in 1861 as Dora Sunnyside in "The Octoroon" at the Winter Garden Theatre. Also at the Winter Garden, she appeared as Alice in "The Belle of the Season" in 1862 and "Wife's Trials" in 1863. Also in 1862, she played Topsy in "Under Tom's Cabin" and Janette in "Sybil".
She married Fred Buckley of Buckley's Minstrels in 1857, divorced, and married circus performer, William Carlo, in 1866 in California.
Early Museum Days Recalled.
Mrs. Fanny Lawrence, Who Appeared in Cinderella 41 Years Ago with Adelaide and Mathilde Phillipps and Annie Clarke.
The petition just filed in the Probate court for the appointment of a special administrator on the estate of Mrs. Fanny Lawrence brings to the recollection of the older generation of playgoers an actress who was once a Boston favorite, but who has been almost forgotten since her retirement from the stage.
Mrs. Fanny Lawrence was the widow of William Carlo, one of the famous Carlo brothers. She died in Boston June 16 last.
In her youth Fanny Lawrence was known as the “beautiful Fanny Brown,” and was considered one of the loveliest women upon the stage. She was born in Cincinnati about 60 years ago, and was the child of William and Ann McFarland. “Bill McFarland” was one of the best vaulters and leapers in the ring, and his wife rode in the entrée and menage act.
Fanny Brown made her first appearance in Boston at the Boston Museum as one of the Cinderella footmen in the spectacle of that name in 1850. Adelaide Phillips personated Cinderella, and her sisters, Mathilde and Avilla Phillipps, represented the coachmen, while Annie Clarke was another of the footmen. Of this quartet of outsiders, Fanny Brown was the first to pass away; Mathilde and Avilla Phillipps both reside in Marshfield, while Annie Clarke still treads the stage of the Museum.
Fanny Brown became at once a great favorite and was attached to the Museum until in 1855, playing Eva in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in 1863, succeeding the late Helen Western, who first played that part in Boston in 1852.
In 1856 Miss Brown became the wife of Fred Buckley, one of the Buckley Brothers who were very popular at that time. The marriage was not a happy one, and upon a divorce being granted three years afterward she returned to the stage, appearing at the Howard Atheaeum in 1860 as a member of E. L. Davenport’s company, which contained such actors as Lawrence Barrett, John McCullough, Frank Hardenberg, Dan Setchell, Harry Langdon, J. A. Smith, William Reynolds, W. J. LeMoyne, W. H. Curtis, Walter Lennox, Walter Beun, Josephine Orton, Annie Clarke, Mrs. W. H. Smith, Mrs. Sylvester, Oriana Marshall and Mrs. E. L. Davenport.
During the war she was a member of the late John E. Owens' company of the Variety Theatre at New Orleans. From there she went to San Francisco, where she made a hit as “Mazeppa,” doing the act with a bareback horse. She remained in California some time, then traveled through South America, where she met William Lawrence (Carlo), who became her second husband. She returned to Boston in 1879 and since that time has seldom appeared before the footlights, her last appearance in Boston being at the Park Theatre 10 years ago with Rose Eytinge in Felicia.
Upon the death of a friend of her mother’s she inherited a large amount of money, some of which was used in building the Hotel Biner on Washington st. The property is valued at $18,000.
Mrs. Lawrence’s will was filed in the Probate Court June 19, three days after her death. She leaves her entire property to a gentleman of this city, who had been a friend for several years past. She appointed him executor, and provided that if he die without issue the money is to go to the Dramatic fund.
It is supposed that the petition for a special administrator is a move in the interests of a boy who was brought to this country from South America, and cared for by the Carlos. This boy had been lost sight of for many years, and Mrs. Lawrence is said to have made the statement that he had never been legally adopted.
~ Boston Daily Globe, Fri., 28 Aug 1891, pg. 10
Massachusetts Death Record: Fanny O. Lawrence (mn Brown), age 47, b. Cincinnati, Ohio, d. 16 Jun 1891, Boston. Cause: Valv. dis. of heart, 15 yrs. Residence: 1282 Washington St. Occupation: Housewife. Father: William, b. England. Mother: Ann Tucker, b. Boston.
William Carlo (____ - 1879)
Created by: Linda Applegate Brown
Record added: Jul 19, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39645254