American Vaudeville Museum

All material © 1998-2010 American Museum of Vaudeville, Inc.  Page 19

Alice Lloyd

1873 - 1949

by Max Tyler

Alice made her first appearance on the professional stage at Foresters Music Hall with her sister, Gracie; they were billed as The Sisters Lloyd.  They were both younger than sister Marie who was becoming an important star of the British music halls.  There were six sisters in all and two brothers.  Most of them went on the stage, at least for a time.

More and more music hall performers were appearing abroad.  Marie made her first USA appearance in 1890, and returned in 1894 and 1897.  In the early Spring of 1907 Alice decided to try her luck in the USA.

Her success with American audiences was greater than anyone including Alice could have expected.  Her salary soared from £200 to £1,500 (or from $1000 to $7500] and her stay in America was extended to three months.  Before she returned home to fulfill a pantomime engagement, she was signed up for the next season of forty weeks at £2,000 ($10,000) a week over a five year contract.

Midge Gillies in her recent excellent book on Marie Lloyd, says:

“New Yorkers liked Alice’s gentle, English Rose appeal.  She was not a classic beauty but had the homely attractive look of the girl next door.  She had a mass of shiny hair, pretty eyes, and the flowing, dainty Edwardian style of dress suited her figure, which she had kept in better shape than Marie had hers.  Alice could be saucy but she did not wriggle and wink like her sister, and New Yorkers saw in her the genteel vaudevillian that many of them wanted.  She was a ‘dainty girl’ and ‘winsome.’  Her billing was changed from ‘English Comedienne’ to ‘The Dainty Chanteuse.’”