Hetty King

Hetty King

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Hetty King

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Winifred Emms (4 April 1883 – 28 September 1972), best known by her stage name Hetty King, was an English entertainer who played in the music halls over a period of 70 years.


Emms was born in New Brighton, a seaside resort in Cheshire, and performed with her father on the beach in a company of minstrels.


Emms adopted the name Hetty King when she first appeared on the stage of the Shoreditch Theatre accessed 21 June 2007. This site gives date of first appearance as 1897, i.e. when she was four. However, other biographies generally give the age of six, at the same theatre., at the age of six with her father, William Emms (1856–1954), a comedian who used the stage name of Will King. By 1905, she was appearing in music halls, with her solo act, as a male impersonator, often dressed as a "swell". Her career spanned both World Wars when she performed in the uniform of either a soldier or a sailor. In the First World War her acrt included, in 1916, "Songs the soldiers sing" when she sang some of the less rude of the songs invented by soldiers in the trenches.

She also played the "principal boy" in many pantomimes. She continued to entertain until the end of her life, touring with the show Thanks for the Memory.


She was married to actor and writer Ernie Lotinga (aka Ernest) (1876–1951), born in Sunderland. Her husband was a music hall comedian,...
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