Miss Gracie Hopkins.
(Dunedi?i " Evening -Herald.") , Miss Gracie Hopkins,; the; little lady who shares ,the 'Fauntleroy' honors with Miss; Olive Berkley, is just four months the junior of' that young lady, Having been born on the 14th September, .187,9, at Gardener, .Arkansas. Her father is a doctor 'practising, his profession in Kansas City. Her parents ,Bnortly; after mpved to Cherryvale, and .there for a few months she attended the public 'schools;iviV rhm:i~h iU-heaJth, this'-hadjjtSSbe <ii- -.inir.;i vl. and'a private governess engaged. -^W hun^raciie; was five years old, she went wiftr* herfHparents to Kansas City,- ancTthere she soon began to display an ap.titud^for declamation."": At childr^srus parties she* would £recifce,3 a'ndj^cajsryi ajl ;befoTji^her, and He^falnet spread" i^^thit at eighfeyearq&old she was v<mgaged to'give public-|readiiiigs in the? various: public ;halls.and|theatres throughout' Kansas juid J.Missouri. "^ During the- same^pe^pd*«he also dieha lot in t|»e V&y^frf/readings and recitations /on behalf of churches and charitable institutions. Clfrwas in September, of.last ;year that this-little genius •firsti .saw the"i star, of a bright future shine for, her.' ,„ In that month Mr Sisson, of New York, engaged her to come to Australia to assist Miss Olive Berkley as Little Lord Fauntleroy. At the same time an offer came to alternate with, Miss Gertrude Holman -in ' Bootle's Baby,' now touring in the States, but ' Fauntleroy' was preferred. Miss Gracie and her mother, who, by,,thd "way, goes everywhere -with her, accordingly came out in the Zealandia, and arrived in 1 Melbourne in time to make a first appearance on October 26th. Miss Berkley had then been playing the part seven days. Miss Gracie s reception was a most gratifying one, and justified her friends in build ing high castles for the reception of her future professional greatness. She has since theni.travelled everywhere with the company, appearing ■ as... Fauntleroy on alternate rights. As at child Gracie's great delight was to read the lines^ allotted to Prince Arthur inKing John,'and she has appeared in that part several times in amateur shows, and has also given the reading in character costume. Her success on those occasions was undoubted, and the critics all seem to have been enchanted by her. During the present trip Miss Gracie is the ouly one of the company who has been able to come up to scratch every night she was called, and oh one occasion she played nine out of a season of 11. nights,» a truly wonderful thing -in; a' child, : and a fact which marks her 'pluck. Gracie is passionately fond of her new calling, but says ' "You must forgive my slips because I am only an amateur yet — I hope one; day to be an actress. 1 We vouch for this, and for ourselves we feel sure that the world will never be without at least, one first water actress while she lives. . Speaking of Fauntleroy she says she loves the part for the sake of the sweet nature it pourtrays. When the swork first appeared in 'St. Nicholas,' lome five years ago, she fell straightway in ove with it, and began to act all to her 1 self in her own little room at home.' Her doll was her audience, and she made a stage and appointments of anything that -came—nr"Ti(jr»-way^—-crracre—nas ueeir blessed with extraordinary talent in more, than one direction. For one so young and with such little tuition as she has had, she is a marvel in music. Her touch is delightful, and the feeling imparted' to the notes is wonderful. Her small hands can just stretch air octave, and yet she plays such - difficult' selections as Leybach's .' Fifth nocturne,' Gobbsert's 'Serenade,'op. 110.. W-here-ever she has gone Miss Gracie has worked her way into the hearts of those she has met- and -all speak in terms of enchantment of her. Charles Warner writes her that he trusts one day to see her astonish the world, and Dr Neald, of the Australasian, cannot find words warm enough to express his delight. Lady Loch, too, has marked her appreciation of thejchild's talent. While in Sydney many valuable little presents fell to her share, amongst others there was a beautiful edition of Shakespeare, bearing the motto, ' God keep her all the night, God bless her all the day,' and a gold bangle- with the inscription, '^VTien'tto^yo'fcUsee member m'e'A: - i; - Xfli ,':-&J';> Ji V
To look ab Gracie is to be struck with her ; to qonverse mth her is to be charmed. She is of fair size for her years. Her head is crowned'^ith^ajbeaijtiful golden crop, and her eyes are most remarkable, .being as black as sloes with a depth of expression, when in repose, that is en.chanting. \When ; excited her eyes flash arid she then "is^ the v incarnation of wild beauty. Her forehead is of remarkable breadth and pure as Carrara marble, and beautified by .deeply .pencilled jblack eyebrows, while the black? eyes we fringed with longjashes of an impenetrable black. It is a most striking face. Her manner is like her faoe—perfect, , She,is not shy, neither is 1 slie forward; She converses staidly," yet like a child, and is diffident of speaking'of Herself. '-^ - ' *
Mrs Hopkins is at present in correspondence with an American manager for Grade to give a series of recitations and readings throughout; 'tse' States, but her great ambition, in consonance with that of the child, is to go tcEngland and study., Alexander Grahtham xorke, one of the gentlemen;in-waiting on the Queen, has offered .to assist Mrs Hopkins in the matter, so that probably-Miss Gracie wijl be able to take advantage of her opportunity.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2435, 27 May 1890
Miss Gracie Hopkins. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2435, 27 May 1890
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