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Rose Temple


Periodically the undergraduates of Yale University fixed on an ingenue to be the college crush. In the late 1870s they settled on burlesquer Rose Temple, a singing actress who graced the performances of Edward Rice's Opera Comique or the Criterion Company. Sometimes paired with comedian Henry Dixey, she starred in pieces such as "Cinderella at School," "Olivette," and "H. M. S. Pinafore" (as Ralph Rackstraw). Often billed as "pretty Rose Temple" she embodied a kind of ornamental ideal of young womanhood for a generation of theatergoers. She had enough zany spirit to pull off some of the more lunatic Offenbach female roles, and sang English heroines with splendid sense of dialect.

An import from the English world of light opera, Temple came to America in 1875 as a member of Henderson & Colville's English Opera Company singing supporting roles in "Boulotte." She signed on with Mrs. Oates's Opera Company rather than return to Britain and toured the United States performing "La Jolie Parfumeuse." Her reputation as a sex object flared in 1878 when she shared the stage with the daring Pauline Markham and Nellie Larkelle in "Robin Hood." In 1883 she left the American Stage to live with her second husband, who had undertaken business in Novgorod, Russia. David S. Shields/ALS