Lily Dampier

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Lily Dampier (Jan 1859[1] or 1867 or 1868 -6 February 1915) was an Australian actor of stage and screen. She was the daughter of Alfred Dampier and married to Alfred Rolfe.[2][3][4]

Her best known stage parts were Sylvia in For the Term of His Natural Life and Kate in Robbery Under Arms.[5] She also performed many roles from Shakespeare and worked in England.

A contemporary described her as a better actress than her sister Rose:

Certainly she was the more forceful, physically, and vocally, but she was disqualified for high tragic roles by the fact that she had ridiculously small feet for a well developed woman, and used to walk in mincing and tottering steps in moments when rhythmic striding was needed.[6]

An earlier secret marriage in 1889 had ended in divorce[7] and her sister also died young.[8] She married Rolfe in 1893.[9]


Lily was staying in Williams St, West Melbourne when she took ill. Her husband was filming in Sydney and was going to take her to a private hospital when she died. According to contemporary reports, "her death occurred rather suddenly'.[10]

Her mother died shortly after Lily died.[11]

Select filmography[edit]


  1. ^ STAGE JOTTINGS. Auckland Star, Volume XLVI, Issue 50, 27 February 1915, Page 14
  2. ^ 'MISS LILY DAMPIER' The Sydney Morning Herald 8 Feb 1915: 10 accessed 26 Nov 2011
  3. ^ "AMONG THE PLAYERS". The Winner. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 10 February 1915. p. 10. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  4. ^ Vagg, Stephen (18 August 2019). "Australian Movie Stars". Filmink.
  5. ^ "MISS LILY DAMPIER DEAD". The Barrier Miner. Broken Hill, NSW: National Library of Australia. 8 February 1915. p. 1. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  6. ^ "REMINISCENCES OF THE STAGE". The Arrow. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 14 December 1917. p. 3. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  7. ^ 'A THEATRICAL DIVORCE CASE' The Barrier Miner (Broken Hill) 18 Jun 1892: 4 accessed 26 Nov 2011
  8. ^ "DEATH OF EOSE DAMPIER". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 22 May 1919. p. 8. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
  9. ^ Richard Fotheringham, "Introduction", Robbery Under Arms by Alfred Dampier and Garnet Walch, Currency Press 1985
  10. ^ "SOCIAL NOTES". The Leader. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 13 February 1915. p. 50 Section: WEEKLY. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  11. ^ "DEATH OF MRS. DAMPIER". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 6 May 1915. p. 10. Retrieved 19 November 2014.

External links[edit]