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Friday, 21 July 2017

Stage Name

Ann Titheradge in Google Alerts

This week I was rather surprised to see the name “Ann Titheradge” appear in my Google Alerts, which I use to monitor new occurrences of the Titheradge surname on the Internet.  Closer examination revealed that it was referencing an Ann Titheradge, actress who lived 1916 to 2004.  Examination of my records showed there was no Ann Titheradge born at this time nor subsequently did an Ann (other than me) marry into the Titheradge family.

Who was Ann Titheradge?  

Research showed that this was one of the grandchildren of the Victorian actor George Sutton Titheradge and niece of the famous Madge Titheradge and Dion Titheradge.  She chose to take her mother’s maiden name as a “stage name”, thus providing good publicity for her acting career and identifying that she was part of the talented Titheradge dynasty.

Ann Titheradge - Actress

Actress “Ann Titheradge” was not only not a Titheradge she was also not called Ann.  She was christened Patricia Ann Cochrane daughter of Evelyn (Eve) Titheradge and Frank Cochrane both of whom appeared on the stage in the early 20th century.  Evelyn and Frank had three daughters Primrose born in 1922 and twins Patricia Ann and Pamela Madge born 16 February 1916 in St George Hanover Square district of London.  Patricia married John Alfred A Pannell in 1960 in Marylebone, London.  John and Patricia had no children.  John died in the Brighton area in 1975.  Around 1990 Patricia was living in Hove, Sussex.  She lived until she was aged 87 when she died in Glamorganshire, Wales in 2004.  The 1939 register, taken at the start of World War 2, has her recorded as Patricia A Titheradge, corrected to Patricia A Cochrane with Ann Titheradge written beside.

Patricia Cochrane's Acting Career

Using historical newspapers it has been possible to follow Patricia's (Ann's) acting career.  Patricia and twin Pamela started ballet dancing aged 10.  At the age of 16 they started creating an act with various dance routines but this didn't last long so while Pamela continued with her dancing career Ann went to the Embassy Theatre London where the Embassy School of Acting was based.  Her acting career began in 1934 aged 18 with small roles.  From September 1935 she started to get more important roles appearing in the play “The Dominant Sex”.  Between 1936 and February 1939 she worked in the Coventry Repertory Theatre where she took on over 100 roles playing varying characters from school girls to old women.  She obtained one interesting role in a play “Nina” which required two identical actresses.  Patricia’s twin Pamela played the second role, she had now given up dancing and was also an actress using the stage "Pamela Titheradge".  Patricia appeared in the Nottingham Theatre in October 1939 and continued to appear on stage until June 1940.  There are no newspaper references to her acting during the rest of the war time but there is a reference that during the war she moved to London and drove ambulances in the Blitz, but I have been unable to confirm this with any documentation.  After the war she reappeared on the stage in Birmingham and London between 1945 and 1948. Plays included “Wishing Well”, “This Was A Woman” and “Life With Father”.  Later she made her debut in films and appeared in a three movies "Shooting Star" (1949), "Gone to Earth" (1950) and "The Mysterious Count" (1951).  It appears her acting career ceased in 1951.

Important Lesson for genealogist

This blog illustrates the important lesson that if you are doing genealogy don’t automatically accept anything on the Internet  - you must confirm it with documentation and evidence.  Remember things are not always what they seem as illustrated by –not really “Ann Titheradge” but actually Patricia of Titheradge descent!

Do you have additional information?

If you have any information or photographs of Patricia Ann Cochrane / Patricia Ann Pannell / Ann Titheradge actress please contact us by email or add a comment below.

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