was a popular American actress
of the mid-1800s.
She was born near Londonderry
, on December 1, 1830
, and her
family moved to Philadelphia
in her early childhood.
Her reputation was founded almost solely on her adaptation and
starring role in Camille, or "the Fate of a Coquette," a French play
by Alexandre Dumas about a courtesan who dies of consumption
(or tuberculosis) in her lover's arms. The first showing of Heron's
Camille took place in 1857 at Wallack's Theatre in New York City.
Heron's adaptation was significant because it was the first American
version of the script that was not sanitized to remove ``morally
objectionable'' elements. She translated it directly, having seen a
production of the original in Paris.
The other reason that Heron's Camille is interesting is her acting;
she embraced a very earthy, direct style (unlike most of her
contemporaries, who were classically trained and restrained).
When Camille was wracked by a hacking cough, Heron accepted that
fully, hacking and coughing very noisily. She lacked finesse, but
made up for that with a passion for the role that endeared her to
audiences and set the stage for many overactors in the future.
In 1857, she married a German musician named Robert Stoepel, only to
seperate from him in 1861. She also bore a daughter named Bijou;
Matilda's final public performance, in the role of Medea, took place
in April 1876 "on the occasion of her daughter's benefit"
1. She died March 7, 1877, in New York City,
having spent most of her later life in obscurity, teaching acting.
http://famousamericans.net/matildaheron/, from which much
of the other information was taken, although not quoted directly.
All information available through cunning use of Google.