Saturday, December 3, 2011

Parisian Actress Jane Hading

A brief study of the art and the personality of the famous Parisian actress, with portraits of her as she appears in some of her best characters.

Madame Jane Hading - who isn't Jane Hading at all, but of that anon - is an accident; a happy, in many respects a delightful accident - still an acci­dent. Here it might be well, perhaps, to pause and remark that there are not a very great many actors and actresses whose suc­cess has not been due to fortuitousness; or, to speak more exactly, whose opportunity to display ability was not accidental. "Ostler Joe's" felicitous drawing room debut gave the stage Mrs. Potter. The un­expected badness of a Delesparre years ago, in Dublin, when Helen Barry was reveal­ing judicious Boucicaultean teaching as Armande in "Led Astray," led to Kyrle Bellew's trial rehearsal in the part.

Was Hading a conservatoire pupil? Surely not, My first recollection of her is that some leading woman in a play running at one of the principal theaters of Paris was taken ill, and Jane Hading, who was either "supering," or playing an unimportant part, came forward to substitute for the in­disposed "lead" at a few hours' notice. How did she know the words?