Whiffen, Mrs. Thomas
- (1845-1936)London-born Blanche Galton was educated in France and studied voice, immigrating to the United States in 1868 with an opéra bouffe company. In 1879, she played Buttercup in the first American production of Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta H.M.S. Pinafore, before moving into nonMusicAL roles at the Madison Square Theatre and with Daniel Frohman's Lyceum Theatre company and Charles Frohman's Empire Theatre troupe. Even when relatively young, she specialized in old women roles and appeared in support of several major actors, including Mary Mannering, Eleanor Robson, Margaret Anglin, and Henry Miller, and scored notable successes with roles in Trelawny of the "Wells" (1898), Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines (1901) opposite a young Ethel Barrymore, and William Vaughn Moody's The Great Divide (1906). An intrepid performer, Mrs. Whiffen continued on the stage well into her eighties, appearing on Broadway for the final times as Mrs. Mossop in a 1927 revival of Trelawny of the "Wells" and in the musical romance Just Fancy (1927).
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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