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Portrait of Jessie Millward from The London magazine, c. 1900

Jessie Millward (1861 – July 13, 1932) was an English stage actress known for her performances both in Britain and the United States. She played roles in Shakespeare and other classic plays, as well as melodramas and other contemporary works.


Life and careerEdit

William Terriss and Millward in The Harbour Lights (1880s)

Millward's father was Charles Millward, a well known pantomime writer of the 1860s and 1870s. Jessie made her acting debut in 1881 in London.[1] She first appeared with actor Henry Irving the following year, and performed many times with Irving's theatre company, mostly in Shakespeare, over the next three years, and occasionally thereafter, remaining friends with Irving.[2]

In 1885, Millward met, and later became romantically involved with, William Terriss, with whom she first starred in the extraordinarily successful The Harbour Lights by George R. Sims and Henry Pettitt.[3] Terriss and Millward were then engaged at the Adelphi in its melodramas, beginning with The Bells of Haslemere (1887).[4] Millward and Terriss remained frequent stage partners. In 1889–90, and again in 1893–94, Terriss and Millward toured in the US with Irving.[5] Terriss was murdered outside the Adelphi Theatre in 1897.[6] She performed for several years from 1890 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.[7]

She played in the United States many more times, by invitation of producer Charles Frohman.[8] Her many Broadway roles included the title role in Phroso in 1898, Lady Algy in Lord and Lady Algy in 1899, Countess Zicka in Diplomacy in 1901 and Clara in The Girl in the Taxi in 1910.[9][2]

In 1907, she married actor John Glendinning.[10] Millward published an autobiography in 1923, Myself and Others.[11][12][13]


  1. ^ Who's who, p. 314
  2. ^ a b "Jessie Millward: (1861-1932)", Shakespeare & The Players, 2003, Emory University, accessed 6 February 2012
  3. ^ Smythe, p. 87
  4. ^ "Obituary, Mr. Robert Courtneidge", The Times, 8 April 1939, p. 14
  5. ^ Smythe, pp. 98 and 112
  6. ^ The New York Times, 17 December 1897, p. 3
  7. ^ Silvestre, passim
  8. ^ Silvestre, p. 177
  9. ^ Jessie Millward at the IBDB dabase, accessed 6 February 2012
  10. ^ Who's who, p. 198
  11. ^ The Stage, Munsey's Magazine (October 1903), p. 134
  12. ^ (14 July 1932). Jessie Millward, Actress, Dies at 73, The New York Times
  13. ^ Storms, A.D. The Player's Blue Book, p. 82-83 (1901)


  • Silvestre, Ruth. Final Performance: A true story of Love, Jealousy, Murder and Hypocrisy, Troubador Publishing, 2009 ISBN 978-1-84876-144-5
  • Smythe, Arthur J. The Life of William Terriss, Actor (Westminster: Archibald Constable, 1898).
  • "Jessie Millward" at Who's who on the stage, p. 314–16 and elsewhere, W. Browne & F. A. Austin, 1908

External linksEdit