British postcard, no. 1857. The Rapid Photo Printing Co. Ltd., London. Printed in Belgium.
Gabrielle Ray (1883-1973) was a British stage actress, dancer and singer, known for her roles in Edwardian musical comedies. Around 1900 she was one of the most beautiful actresses of the London stage. From 1907 she did some 700 performances of The Merry Widow. While wildly popular in the early 20th century (even the King of Portugal was a fan), her career dwindled after an unhappy marriage, followed by depressions and alcohol abuse. Finally, in 1936 she collapsed. She was institutionalized in mental hospitals, and stayed there for over 40 years.