Ida Hawley

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Ida Hawley (1876–1908) was a Canadian musical comedy actress and soprano singer.

Ida Hawley
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Born 26 April 1876
Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Died 9 December 1908
New York City, New York
Occupation Musical Comedy Actress
Years active 1897-1908

Early life[edit]

Ida Hawley was born on 26 April 1876 at Belleville, Ontario and later raised in Toronto,[1] where she received her higher education at the Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School[2] Little is known about Ida Hawley’s life, other than when not working in the US she maintained a residence at the Hotel Flanders in Toronto[2] and that she left behind a legacy of work from a career that extended barely past a decade.


Her professional career began in 1897 as a stock actress with Augustine Daly's company, performing Shakespeare’s The Tempest in Philadelphia and later Boston.[2] After a season of repertoire work Hawley left Daly to play Yvonne in Alexandre DumasPaul Jones at the Schiller Theatre in Chicago, followed by a part in A Runaway Girl at the Chestnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia.[3] The next season she worked on the musical comedy Three Little Lambs by R. A. Barnett and composer E. W. Corliss that premiered at New York’s Fifth Avenue Theatre on Christmas Day 1899. The following year she appeared in the musical extravaganza A Million Dollars by Louis Harrison and George Hobart,[4] that opened to unfavourable reviews on 27 September 1900.

Hawley had better luck as Ruth in the successful run of The Burgomaster, a musical comedy written by Gustav Luders and composed by Frank Pixley.[5] The critics praised her performance as Princess Soo-Soo in A Chinese Honeymoon by George Dance (dramatist) and composer Howard Talbot.[6][7] A few months later she assumed the role of Edith in another Luders and Pixley musical comedy, The Prince of Pilsen, during its long run at the Broadway Theatre.[8]

Later in 1903 Hawley began working as an understudy for opera singer Fritzi Scheff on her national tour with the comic operettas Babette, by Victor Herbert and Harry B. Smith and Two Roses, based on Oliver Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer.[9] In May 1904 Hawley stepped in to replace Scheff for the remainder of the season after a severe sore throat forced the actress to withdraw from the tour.[10]

In August 1905 Ida Hawley played Polly Premier at the Broadway Theatre in The Pearl and the Pumpkin, written by Paul West and composer John W. Bratton.[11] In 1906 she toured in an off-Broadway production of The Blue Moon by Howard Talbot and Paul Rubens and the following year she played the lead role in Gustav Kerker and George Broadhurst’s The Lady from Lane’s, a musical comedy that ran for 47 performances at the Casino Theatre.[12]


Ida Hawley died on 9 December 1908 in New York City at Alston’s Sanitarium on West 61st Street from complications following an operation for appendicitis. Her remains were sent back to Toronto where her father still resided.[13]


  1. ^ The Canadian Year Book, Volume 2
  2. ^ a b c Who's Who on the Stage, ed. Walter Browne, E. De Roy Koch, 1908
  3. ^ The North American, (Philadelphia, PA) 11 March 1899
  4. ^ The New York Times, 14 August 1900
  5. ^ Boston Daily Globe, June 25, 1901
  6. ^ The Baltimore American, 25 November 1902
  7. ^ The Washington Times, 4 January 1903
  8. ^ The New York Times, 14 June 1903
  9. ^ The Daily Northwestern, 2 April 1904
  10. ^ Daily Gazette and Bulletin, 23 May 1904, Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  11. ^ Galveston Daily News, 27 August 1905; The Portsmouth Herald, 15 March 1906
  12. ^
  13. ^ Los Angeles Times, 10 December 1908; The New York Times, 10 December 1908