Fortescue, May (1862–1950)

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Fortescue, May (1862–1950)

English stage actress. Name variations: May Finney; Miss Fortescue. Born Emily May Finney, Feb 9, 1862, in London, England; died Sept 2, 1950; sister of Helen Ferrers (actress).

Made stage debut with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company as Lady Ella in the 1st production of Patience (1881), then moved with the company for the opening of the Savoy, creating the part of Celia in Iolanthe (1882); abandoned career on engagement to Lord Garmoyle; when he broke off engagement, sued for breach of promise, receiving £10,000 and much publicity; plays include Dan'l Druce Blacksmith, Our Boys, The Blue Bells of Scotland, The Hunchback, The Fortune Hunter, The Cabinet Minister, Bellamy the Magnificent and A Man Unknown; organized her own company and toured for many years in such plays as Gretchen (title role), Moths and Pygmalion and Galatea.