Rosalinde Fuller began her career by performing the old English country songs she and her sisters had collected as teen-agers, appeared on stage until the 1970’s, doing an eclectic one-woman show, usually in far-flung places.
A review from Belize, British Honduras, in 1964, for example, noted that a program by Miss Fuller included excerpts from Henry Lawson’s “The Drover’s Wife,” Nadine Gordimer’s “Harry’s Presence,” de Maupassant’s “The Window Game,” Daisy Ashford’s “The Young Visitors,” Chekhov’s “Regrets” and Dickens’s “David Copperfield.”
“Miss Fuller performed for two full hours and for two full hours there was not a dull moment,” the Honduras critic said respectfully. “Her clever acting and her versatility captured the hearts of her audience and she was heartily applauded again and again.” Honored by Queen Elizabeth
Many of Miss Fuller’s tours were sponsored by the British Arts Council. In 1966, Queen Elizabeth II made her a Member of the Order of the British Empire. One of Miss Fuller’s last projects was an adaptation of Katharine Mansfield’s works, which she performed in Durban, South Africa, in 1975.
As a girl, Miss Fuller and her two sisters learned the folksongs of their village in Dorset. A musicologist in London suggested that they form a trio. They did, and they performed at the Shakespeare festivals at Stratford-on-Avon. Then, investing their savings, they chose to go to New York in 1913, hoping for a two-week visit.
This time a Columbia University musicologist helped the sisters by arranging a New York concert. The two-week visit became a tour. The Fullers crossed America, even performing for President Wilson at the White House. Miss Fuller returned to Britain in 1917 but came back to America in 1919, determined now not to sing but to act.
More Singing Roles
Broadway’s impresarios were not persuaded, however, and they continued to offer Miss Fuller singing roles -in the “Greenwich Village Follies,” “The Pinwheel Revue” and John Murray Anderson’s “What’s in a Name?” Her first chance to act came in “The Champion”; her next, an immeasurably better one, came with Mr. Barrymore’s “Hamlet.”