Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Ada C. Rehan 1859 ~ 1916

 


Ada C. Rehan

Miss Rehan is one of the most noted artists of her adopted country. All of her honors having been earned in the United States, Americans rank her among the distinguished artists of this country. Miss Rehan was born in Limerick, Ireland, April 22, 1859.

Her name is Crehan and was accidentally misspelled in a telegram, when she adopted it as her stage name, and by it she will ever be known. Her parents came to the United States in 1864, and settled in Brooklyn, where Ada was a pupil of the common schools of that city until fourteen years of age. At this time a company was playing Byron's "Across the Continent" in Newark, New Jersey, and Ada was asked to take the place of one of the members of the company who was ill. This was the beginning of her professional career, as her family decided after this performance to have her study for the stage. In 1874 she played in 'Thoroughbred'' in New York, hardly winning notice. She then played in support of Edwin Booth, Adelaide Neilson, John McCullough, Mrs. D. P. Powers, John T. Raymond and Lawrence Barrett, playing Ophelia, Desdemona, Celia, Olivia and other Shakespearean roles.

In 1878 while she was playing in "Katherine and Petruchio," in the city of Albany, New York, Augustin Daly met her and asked her to join his company, and in 1879 she made her first appearance in Daly's Theatre as Nellie Beers in "Love's Young Dream" and Lou Ten Eyck in "Divorce."

She immediately took the position of leading lady, which she held until Daly's death. In 1888 the Daly Company went to England, where she achieved the most remarkable success on record, it is stated, in London. She ranks as one of the most intelligent and talented comedians of the age. Her best work has been in the female Shakespearian roles.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.

 

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