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Impersonator Collection

"Captivating the Stage: Celebrating the Legacy of Impersonators" Step back in time to 1927

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Ella Shields / Pyke 1927

Ella Shields / Pyke 1927
ELLA SHIELDS Music hall entertainer: Burlington Bertie from Bow

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Flo Dixie - impersonating a male army officer

Flo Dixie - impersonating a male army officer
Flo Dixie, Music Hall Performer - impersonating a male army officer. Known as the bantam male impersonator'. Dressed as an army officer with cane, monocle and cigar. Signed card.. Date: circa 1921

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Bessie Bonehill music hall male impersonator 1855-1902

Bessie Bonehill music hall male impersonator 1855-1902
Bessie Bonehill started on the halls as a clog dancer as part of the Sisters Bonehill act and became a male impersonator. Jaunty pose with hands in pockets

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Elvis Express Departure 2019

Elvis Express Departure 2019
Elvis impersonator Alfred Vaz poses for photographs before boarding the Blue Suede Express at Central Station in Sydney, Thursday, January 10, 2019

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Mr Malcolm Scott as Salome

Mr Malcolm Scott as Salome
Mr Malcolm Scott, Robert Falcon Scotts Brother (!!). Scott was one of the most famous female impersonators. He started his career as a straight actor at the Theatre Royal in Margate in 1886 but soon

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Ella Shields, WW1 entertainment

Ella Shields, WW1 entertainment
Ella Shields (1879-1952) music hall entertainer and male impersonator, most famous as Burlington Bertie from Bow dressed up as both a soldier and a sailor during the First World War. Date: 1917

Background imageImpersonator Collection: May Lilian Levey music hall male impersonator

May Lilian Levey music hall male impersonator
May Lilian Levey male impersonator, dancer, pantomime principal boy. Here dressed in top hat and tails with cane. Called herself the ?premier male character comedienne?

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Louie Tracy music hall male impersonator

Louie Tracy music hall male impersonator
Louie Tracy male impersonator dressed as a man about town with top hat and cane. ?Faultlessly attired, by everyone admired?. Billed as the ?Dapper, Dandy Boy?. Signed card. Date: circa 1910

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Pauline Travis music hall male impersonator

Pauline Travis music hall male impersonator
Pauline Travis male impersonator billed as ?the new male impersonator? in 1915. Dressed as a man about town wearing evening suit, white waistcoat, top hat and monocle. Signed card. Date: circa 1915

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Vesta Tilley music hall male impersonator 1864-1952

Vesta Tilley music hall male impersonator 1864-1952
Vesta Tilley (Matilda Alice Powles) male impersonator, actress and pantomime star. Dressed in costume as an Eton schoolboy with bum-freezer jacket and top hat

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Winifred Ward music hall male impersonator 1880-1975

Winifred Ward music hall male impersonator 1880-1975
Winifred Ward male impersonator and pantomime principal boy. In costume for ?Jack Horner? pantomime, Princes Theatre, Bristol. Wearing light coloured suit with trouser turn-ups

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Hetty King music hall male impersonator 1883-1972

Hetty King music hall male impersonator 1883-1972
Hetty (Hettie) King (Winifred Emms) in pantomime costume as Aladdin. Seated on table. Elaborate hat with feathers, Chinese-style satin jacket with shorts, tights and satin shoes with large bow

Background imageImpersonator Collection: The regal visit Saltburn always craved finally took place as the town celebrated 150

The regal visit Saltburn always craved finally took place as the town celebrated 150 years of history. More than a century ago

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Looking for all the world like the real Queen Victoria and her consort are Alice

Looking for all the world like the real Queen Victoria and her consort are Alice and George De Mellet De Bonas who did a grand tour of both the Marine Parade at Saltburn Kirkleatham fair

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Stanley Baxter (right) stars as a pantomime dame at the Kings Theatre, Glasgow, Scotland

Stanley Baxter (right) stars as a pantomime dame at the Kings Theatre, Glasgow, Scotland, 9th December 1983. Pictured with journalist Colin Bell

Background imageImpersonator Collection: ELVIS EXPRESS DEPARTURE 2020

ELVIS EXPRESS DEPARTURE 2020
Elvis impersonators on board the Elvis Express at Central Station in Sydney, Thursday, January 9, 2020. The Elvis Express train leaves from Central Station for its journey to Parkes for the Elvis

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Nelly Power music hall singer 1854-1887

Nelly Power music hall singer 1854-1887
Nelly (Nellie) Power music hall singer, burlesque actress and early male impersonator. On the back of the photograph is printed ?Saturday Programme Supplement February 5th 1876?. Date: 1876

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Gertie Rex music hall male impersonator

Gertie Rex music hall male impersonator
Gertie Rex male impersonator billed as Scotland?s greatest comedienne. In character as a Scottish soldier with kilt and sporran. Signed card. Date: circa 1916

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Bessie Wentworth music hall male impersonator 1873-1901

Bessie Wentworth music hall male impersonator 1873-1901
Bessie Wentworth (Elizabeth Mary Andrews) male impersonator and ?coon singer? of plantation songs - a genre which would be unacceptable today. Here wearing a naval uniform and holding a cigarette

Background imageImpersonator Collection: George Lashwood music hall singer 1863-1942

George Lashwood music hall singer 1863-1942
George Lashwood, a singer, known as the ?Brummel of the Halls?. Admired by male impersonator Hetty (Hettie) King who copied his style of dress in some of her outfits. Date: circa 1900

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Impersonator M. R. Bertin in an imitation of Mme Anna Thibaud

Impersonator M. R. Bertin in an imitation of Mme Anna Thibaud
The famousFrench female impersonator M.R. Bertin in an imitation of Mme Anna Thibaud Date: Pre-1920s

Background imageImpersonator Collection: The famous female impersonator M. R. Bertin

The famous female impersonator M. R. Bertin
The famous female impersonator M.R. Bertin in an imitation of Tan-Ichi Date: Pre-1920s

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Impersonator M. R. Bertin in an imitation of Clotilde Algeria

Impersonator M. R. Bertin in an imitation of Clotilde Algeria
The famous French female impersonator M.R. Bertin in an imitation of Clotilde Algeria Date: Pre-1920s

Background imageImpersonator Collection: The famous French female impersonator M. R. Bertin as himself

The famous French female impersonator M. R. Bertin as himself
The famous French female impersonator M.R. Bertin as himself Date: Pre-1920s

Background imageImpersonator Collection: The famous Swedish female impersonator Lind

The famous Swedish female impersonator Lind (John Lind) Date: Pre-1920s

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Gracie Fields

Gracie Fields (1898-1979) in Shipyard Sally'. Date: 1939

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Florence Desmond, impersonator, as Marlene Dietrich, in top hat, with cigarette

Florence Desmond, impersonator, as Marlene Dietrich, in top hat, with cigarette. With description, Florence Desmond is one of the cleverest impersonators there are about at present

Background imageImpersonator Collection: One final drink - Elvis

One final drink - Elvis
Karen Smalley

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Vessel in the Form of an Owl Impersonator, 100 B. C. / A. D. 500. Creator: Unknown

Vessel in the Form of an Owl Impersonator, 100 B. C. / A. D. 500. Creator: Unknown
Vessel in the Form of an Owl Impersonator, 100 B.C./A.D. 500

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Vessel in the Form of a Seal Impersonator Playing a Drum, 100 B. C. / A. D. 500

Vessel in the Form of a Seal Impersonator Playing a Drum, 100 B. C. / A. D. 500
Vessel in the Form of a Seal Impersonator Playing a Drum, 100 B.C./A.D. 500

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Vessel in the Form of a Deer Impersonator, 100 B. C. / A. D. 500. Creator: Unknown

Vessel in the Form of a Deer Impersonator, 100 B. C. / A. D. 500. Creator: Unknown
Vessel in the Form of a Deer Impersonator, 100 B.C./A.D. 500

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Ritual Impersonator of the Deity Xipe Totec, 1450 / 1500. Creator: Unknown

Ritual Impersonator of the Deity Xipe Totec, 1450 / 1500. Creator: Unknown
Ritual Impersonator of the Deity Xipe Totec, 1450/1500

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Holiday sights and doings in London (b / w photo)

Holiday sights and doings in London (b / w photo)
6002629 Holiday sights and doings in London (b/w photo) by American Photographer (19th century) (after); Private Collection; (add.info.: Holiday sights and doings in London)

Background imageImpersonator Collection: He Was Born To Be A Gentleman (colour litho)

He Was Born To Be A Gentleman (colour litho)
6031614 He Was Born To Be A Gentleman (colour litho) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: He Was Born To Be A Gentleman)

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Miss Hetty King, as Aladdin (b / w photo)

Miss Hetty King, as Aladdin (b / w photo)
5987012 Miss Hetty King, as Aladdin (b/w photo) by English Photographer, (20th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Miss Hetty King, as Aladdin)

Background imageImpersonator Collection: English Female impersonator and singer Bobby De Lys

English Female impersonator and singer Bobby De Lys
A photograph of the English Female impersonator and singer Bobby De Lys, 1920s Date: 1920s

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Sheet music - British female impersonator Bert Errol

Sheet music - British female impersonator Bert Errol
Sheet music featuring the British female impersonator Bert Errol, 1920s Date: 1920s

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Sheet music - female impersonator Karyl Norman

Sheet music - female impersonator Karyl Norman
Sheet music representing the female impersonator Karyl Norman, 1920s Date: 1920s

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Female impersonator and Male prima donna Bobbie de Lys

Female impersonator and Male prima donna Bobbie de Lys
Advert for the female impersonator and Male prima donna Bobbie De Lys Date: 1921-1925

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Vesta Tilley, performer and male impersonator

Vesta Tilley, performer and male impersonator. Date: circa 1900s

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Acrobats, Jugglers, Impersonators, Entertainers from The Gentil Album

Acrobats, Jugglers, Impersonators, Entertainers from The Gentil Album
STC147595 Acrobats, Jugglers, Impersonators, Entertainers from The Gentil Album, published in 1774 (gouache on paper) by French School

Background imageImpersonator Collection: A budding humorist of the East End doing a Charlie Chaplin impression (b / w photo)

A budding humorist of the East End doing a Charlie Chaplin impression (b / w photo)
3637510 A budding humorist of the East End doing a Charlie Chaplin impression (b/w photo) by English Photographer, (20th century); Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Princess Caraboo of Javasu (Mary Baker), 1817 (oil on panel)

Princess Caraboo of Javasu (Mary Baker), 1817 (oil on panel)
BAG63289 Princess Caraboo of Javasu (Mary Baker), 1817 (oil on panel) by Bird, Edward (1772-1819); Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, UK; eBristol Museums, Galleries & Archives; Civic painting

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Miss Vesta Tilley, male impersonator (b / w photo)

Miss Vesta Tilley, male impersonator (b / w photo)
6030191 Miss Vesta Tilley, male impersonator (b/w photo) by English Photographer, (20th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Miss Vesta Tilley, male impersonator)

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Ritual Impersonator of the Deity Xipe Totec, possibly Central Veracruz

Ritual Impersonator of the Deity Xipe Totec, possibly Central Veracruz
3964177 Ritual Impersonator of the Deity Xipe Totec, possibly Central Veracruz, 1450/1500 (ceramic & pigment) by Aztec, (15th century); height: 58.4 cm; The Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Jacqueline Ford (b / w photo)

Jacqueline Ford (b / w photo)
3640281 Jacqueline Ford (b/w photo) by English Photographer, (20th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Jacqueline Ford)

Background imageImpersonator Collection: Woman in a uniform and a moustache (b / w photo)

Woman in a uniform and a moustache (b / w photo)
3091141 Woman in a uniform and a moustache (b/w photo) by English Photographer, (20th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Woman in a uniform and a moustache)



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"Captivating the Stage: Celebrating the Legacy of Impersonators" Step back in time to 1927, when Ella Shields and Pyke took the world by storm with their mesmerizing performances. These pioneers of impersonation shattered societal norms, captivating audiences with their unique talents. Flo Dixie, a male impersonator from the music hall era, also left an indelible mark on entertainment history. Their remarkable ability to embody masculinity on stage challenged traditional gender roles and garnered widespread acclaim. Bessie Bonehill, another trailblazer in the realm of male impersonation during 1855-1902, fearlessly defied conventions. Her powerful voice and magnetic presence captivated audiences across generations. Fast forward to 2019 - Elvis Express Departure pays homage to one of the greatest icons in music history. This tribute act embodies Elvis Presley's spirit through impeccable vocals and electrifying performances that transport fans back to his glory days. Intriguingly, Mr Malcolm Scott as Salome showcased a different facet of impersonation artistry. His portrayal pushed boundaries as he embodied this biblical character with grace and allure. During World War I, Ella Shields brought joy and laughter to troops through her entertaining acts. Her dedication exemplified how even amidst turmoil, artists can use their talent to uplift spirits. The sheet music featuring British female impersonator Bert Errol is a testament to his impact on popular culture. Through his performances, Errol challenged societal expectations while leaving an enduring legacy for future generations. Vesta Tilley was yet another influential figure in male impersonation during 1864-1952 who broke barriers throughout her career. Known for her impeccable comedic timing and charismatic stage presence, she paved the way for countless performers who followed in her footsteps. As we embark on yet another departure of the Elvis Express in 2019 - paying tribute once again to The King himself - we celebrate not only these iconic impersonators but also the enduring power of their art.