Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HERON, Matilda, actress, born near Londonderry, Ireland, 1 December, 1830; died in New York city, 7 March, 1877. She came to this country in early childhood, with her parents, who settled in Philadelphia. In that city Miss Heron studied for the stage, under the tuition of Peter Richings, at the Walnut and made her first appearance street theatre on 17 February, 1851, as Bianea in Dean Milman's play of "Fazio." In 1852 she went to St. Louis, and in 1853 played with success in San Francisco, although her manager had died during the voyage, and she was without friends and unknown even by reputation when she arrived in that city. From California, in 1854, Miss Heron came to New York city, where her success was confirmed. Thereafter she appeared throughout the country, and, returning to New York in 1857, was much admired at Wallack's theatre as Camille. In the same year she married Robert Stoepel, a German musician of note, from whom she afterward separated. In 1861 Miss Heron played in London at the Lyceum theatre with English audiences, making her debut there as Rosalie Lee in "New-Year's Eve." She met with only qualified success, and in the year following returned to the United States. Her last engagement was at Booth's theatre, in the winter of 1874-'5, where, among other characters, she essayed Lady Macbeth. Miss Heron's final appearance took place in April, 1876, as Medea, on the occasion of her daughter's benefit. The latter part of Miss Heron's life was spent obscurely in New York city, as a teacher of stage elocution. She was a remarkably emotional actress in sensational dramas, but was not successful in Shakespeare's characters. In " Medea," an adaptation from the Greek of Euripides. she was forcible; but her one great success was in the part of Camille, which she performed for many years to crowded houses, and from it alone received about $200,000.
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