She was born Lucy Geneviève Teresa Ward in New York City on 27 March 1837, and at age 19, she married a Russian count, Constantine de Guerbel, becoming a Russian citizen. Initially Ward specialized in the piano and singing, becoming an opera singer, but when her voice failed in 1862, she turned to the theatre, becoming a competent actress and manager, with her own company, with which she undertook a number of international tours.
On 3 May, 1896, she played "Mrs Borkmann" in the first English production of Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkmann in the Strand Theatre, London, for a company called New Century Theatre, with W.H. Vernon as "Borkmann".
She died of heart disease at her home in Hampstead on 18 August 1922
Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance
They presented an astounding 26 plays during their tour, sixteen in Johannesburg alone. The tour encompassed all the major towns, but en route two of the company died and the tour was cut short.
The first actress to be made an Honorary Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1921).
Martin Banham. 1996. The Cambridge Paperback Guide to Theatre Cambridge University Press: p.402 By Martin Banham
Michael Meyer. 2014. "Introduction to John Gabriel Borkman". In: Ibsen Plays: 4: John Gabriel Borkman; Pillars of Society; When We Dead Awaken, A&C Black
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