Cecilia, born 22 October 1876, died 12 July 1943, was a Scottish actress, singer, mimic, vaudevillian, and music hall performer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She was born Marie Cecilia Loftus Brown in Glasgow. Her father, Ben Brown, born 1848, died 1926, was part of the successful variety group, Brown, Newland and Le Clerc. Her mother, Marie Loftus, born 1857, died 1940, was an actress, pantomimic, and music hall performer, who was only 18 years old when Cecilia was born. She was given an education at the Convent of the Holy Child, Raikes Parade, Blackpool, England. Loftus made her début at the Oxford Music Hall in London. In 1894, she appeared in vaudeville at the Lyceum Theatre in New York City, USA. She had a successful career both in burlesque, as an accomplished mimic, and on Broadway. When she was seventeen, she eloped with Justin Huntly McCarthy, born 1859, died 1936, an Irish writer, and associate of her friend and admirer Max Beerbohm. They married in Blackburn, Lancashire in 1893. The groom was twice as old as the bride. The marriage failed, and the couple divorced. In 1908, she married Alonzo Higbee Waterman, an American doctor. By 1914, both her marriage and health were in a perilous state, and an acrimonious divorce ensued in 1920. Her health and the premature birth of their son, Peter, had made her increasingly dependent on alcohol and painkillers. In November 1922, she was arrested for possession of morphine and atropine. Cecilia Loftus died from a heart attack and the effects of alcoholism at the Lincoln Hotel in New York City, on 12 July 1943, aged 66. Her mother had predeceased her by only three years. She is buried in Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, Westchester County, New York, in a plot provided by the Actors' Fund.
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