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Gitana, Gertie (1887 - 1957)

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 27 December 1887 - 5 January 1957

Biography

British music hall entertainer born Gertrude Mary Astbury in Longport, Stoke-on-Trent. Her father was a pottery works foreman and her mother a teacher.

Gertie started to perform from the age of four with Tomkinson's 'Royal Gipsy Children' and sometimes she was billed as 'The Staffordshire Cinderella'.

She made her professional debut in 1896 at The Tivoli in Barrow-in-Furness and within the next four years, still a child, Gertie featured at the Argyle Theatre in Birkinhead and in London. Aged seventeen, Gertie topped the bill for the first time at The Ardwick Empire at Manchester.

During the First World War Gertie became the Forces' sweetheart and often entertained wounded soldiers in hospitals.

After the war, she appeared in pantomime and later in a Royal Command Performance.

Gertie married variety performer, agent and circus proprietor Don Ross in 1928.

Gertie retired in 1938 and returned to the stage ten years later for two years, until her final retirement in 1950 at The Empress Theatre in Brixton.

Gertie died of cancer on 5 January 1957 in Hampstead, London and is buried in Wigston Cemetery, Leicestershire.

Found in 7 Collections and/or Records:

Argyle Theatre Collection

 Fonds
Reference code: NFA0117
Scope and Contents

This collection contains a large number of posters as well as business records including records of artist bookings, accounts, scrapbooks, contracts and correspondence.

Dates: 1865 - 1941

Argyle Theatre of Varieties Poster, 10 April 1905

 Item
Reference code: 178R12.159
Scope and Contents Argyle Theatre of Varieties, Birkenhead. Lil Hawthorne American Comedienne, Happy Fanny Fields American Dutch Girl, Brown and Robinson, The Bohemians Musical and Comedy Speciality Team, Gertie Gitana in Her Original Scena 'A School Girl’s Holiday', Connor and Brady Inventors of Burlesque Absurdities, Ben Albert Comedian, Edie Madison Comedienne and Dancer, The Three Missouris, Captain Kettle and His Mates, Including Champion Wrestlers Vaseline and Madratski. Printed by S. Griffith and Co,...
Dates: 10 April 1905

Argyle Theatre of Varieties Poster, 3 October 1910

 Item
Reference code: 178R12.184
Scope and Contents

Argyle Theatre of Varieties, Birkenhead. Gertie Gitana Vocalist, Mike S. Whallen Comedian and Raconteur, The 4 Vagabonds Comedy Quartettte, Milner and Storey Comedy, Frances McNulty, Bros. Ashley Comedy Boxing Sketch, Dick Geldard Light Comedian, Brown’s Royal Bioscope, H.O. Wills Comedian. Printed by S. Griffith and Co, Printers, Liverpool. Blue and red type.

Dates: 3 October 1910

Argyle Theatre of Varieties Poster, 22 May 1911

 Item
Reference code: 178R12.195
Scope and Contents

Argyle Theatre of Varieties, Birkenhead. Gertie Gitana, Gene Morelle Ragged Virtuoso, Ted Curtis and Co. Vocal, Comedy and Speciality Dancing Act, Carina Sisters Musical Act, Josh Dixon Comedian and Dancer, Mabel Thorne Comedienne, Fred A Jeffs Irish Humorist, Harry Simms Light Comedian, Brown’s Royal Bioscope, Phil Bransby Comedian, John Henderson and Company Including Millie Henderson in 'Under The Maple Leaf'. Printed by S. Griffith and Co, Printers, Liverpool. Blue and red type.

Dates: 22 May 1911

Argyle Theatre of Varieties Poster, 25 September 1916

 Item
Reference code: 178R12.238
Scope and Contents

Argyle Theatre of Varieties, Birkenhead. Gertie Gitana, Tom Purslow Burlesque Operatic Comedian, Fuji Family Japanese Jugglers and Equilibrists, George D’Albert Versatile Comedian, Frances and Alfred Juggler, Ivy Hurley Singer and Dancer, Brown’s Royal Bioscope showing Daily News in Animation and the Latest War Pictures, Wilbert Gamble Comedian, Fyne and Hurley Burlesque Comedians. Printed: None given but probably S Griffith and Co, Printers, Liverpool. Blue and red type.

Dates: 25 September 1916

Argyle Theatre of Varieties Poster, 3 October 1910

 Item
Reference code: 178R12.80
Scope and Contents

Argyle Theatre of Varieties, Birkenhead. Gertie Gitana Comedienne, Mike S. Whallen Comedian and Raconteur, The 4 Vagabonds English Comedy Quartette, Milner and Storey Comedians, Frances McNulty in Her Latest American Success, Bros. Ashley Comedy Boxing Sketch, Dick Geldard Light Comedian, Brown’s Royal Bioscope, H.O. Wills Comedian. Printed by S. Griffith and Co, typeers, Liverpool. Blue type on light green paper.

Dates: 3 October 1910

Posters, c1880 - 1940

 Series
Reference code: 178R12
Scope and Contents

Large collection of Argyle Theatre posters.

Dates: c1880 - 1940