Florence, Malvina Pray (1830–1906)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Florence, Malvina Pray (1830–1906)

American theater actress. Name variations: Anna Pray, "Miss Malvina," Malvina Coveney. Born Anna Pray, April 19, 1830, in New York, NY; died Feb 18, 1906, in New York, NY; dau. of Samuel (died 1848) and Anna Lewis Pray; sister of Maria Williams (1828–1911) and Louise Browne (both actresses); m. Joseph Littell (actor), c. 1846 (div.); m. William Jermyn ("Billy") Florence (actor), Jan 1, 1853 (died 1891); m. Howard Coveney (actor and playwright), 1893 (div. c. 1896); children: (1st m.) Mrs. Josephine Shepherd (actress).

Began career as dancer under stage name Miss Malvina in NY (mid-1840s); with Billy Florence, appeared as a team in The Yankee Gal (1853), Ireland As It Is and Woman's Wrong; made several tours of England, becoming one of the 1st American comediennes to perform in Europe (beginning 1856); performed in dramatization of Dombey and Son as Susan Nipper (1862), in The Ticket-of-Leave Man (1863), in Benjamin E. Woolf's The Mighty Dollar (1875), and in Our Governor (1885); with husband Billy, announced retirement (1889).