Fay Davis

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Fay David ca. 1900
Davis with George Alexander, 1898

Fay Davis (1873 – February 27, 1945) was an American stage actress from Boston, Massachusetts who was a star of many Shakespearean plays.

She attended the Winthrop School in Boston and a school of oratory. Davis studied under the monologist Leland Powers. Davis became popular as a reciter in Boston and other places in New England. She also acted as an amateur in her hometown.

Davis came to England in 1895 to join the company of Sir Charles Wyndham. She quickly achieved success as Zoe Nuggetson in A Squire of Dames. In 1896 she went to the St. James's Theatre where she remained five years. At this time she played her first roles in productions of the works of Shakespeare.

In 1902 Davis returned to America and made her debut at the Empire Theatre under Charles Frohman. For Frohman, Davis appeared as Wilhelmina in Imprudence.

In the first decade of the twentieth century she acted in a number of London plays, namely Rupert of Hentzau, A Debt of Honour, The Wisdom of the Wise, Iris, and Caesar's Wife. She returned to England in 1906, acting in the provinces and then London. In the latter she appeared in leading roles in Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, and Twelfth Night.

In 1910 she played in Trelawny of the Wells in London. In 1914 she appeared in a film of Enoch Arden. During World War I Davis was in Searchlights and Daddy Long-Legs. Her final London shows were The Heart of a Child (1921), The Second Mrs. Tanqueray (1922), Secret Service (1926), Hamlet (1930), and The Shadow Princess and On The Rocks (1933). Her final stage appearance was at the Winter Garden Theatre in London in 1933.

Davis, also known as Mrs. Gerald Lawrence, died in Exmouth, England in 1945.


  • New York Times, "Fay Davis Is Dead; Noted Actress, 72", February 27, 1945, Page 19.