Sunday
Jul202014

May 3, 1888 - A Day to Remember

Lillie Langtry (1853 - 1929), nicknamed "The Jersey Lily"  Lillie Langtry comes to San Bernardino

Lillie Langtry, an English actress known for her beauty and charm, was born in 1853 on the small island of Jersey, one of the British Channel Islands.

In 1881, at the suggestion of her friend Oscar Wilde, Lillie began her stage career.  A year later she started her own production company, touring the UK .

Mrs. Langtry came to the United States in 1882 and her first tour in the States was an enormous success.

Lillie rapidly became a superstar and for for decades commanded record-breaking fees (e.g., in 1905 when Lillie was in her 50's she was earning $2,500 a week for her work in vaudeville).

Lillie toured the United States thirteen times between 1882 and 1917.  

Records show that Mrs. Langtry performed in San Bernardino in July of 1887 and again in May of 1888.

Click here to see the May 3, 1888, souvenir program from the San Bernardino Opera House in which Lillie Langtry starred as Lady Ormond in "A Wife's Peril". 

Lillie performed on stage until 1918.  She died in Monaco in 1929 (the same year Wyatt Earp died).

 

Note: Langtry, Texas was named after a railroad civil engineer, not Ms. Lillie, and was the home of Judge Roy Bean ("Justice of the Peace, Law West of Pecos").  Bean, infatuated with Lillie Langtry, often wrote her, but never met her.  He even named the saloon that he dispensed his justice from, "The Jersey Lilly" [sic].