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Caroline Emma (Carrie) Neild (1861–1927)

Miss Carrie [Caroline Emma] Neild, who died at Middle Park recently, was a daughter of the late Dr. Neild, for many years a director in Melbourne theatrical affairs. Brought up in the atmosphere of the theatre, it is not strange that she early took a liking for the stage. She became a professional actress in the 80's. The late William Hiskins, instructor of the late Sir Henry Irving, taught her the technique of acting. Madame Lucy Chambers, an early Australian prima donna, under Lester, taught her singing, and 'Jimmy' Moore, brother of Maggie, gave her a thorough grounding in step dancing. On the stage, under the name of 'Carrie Bilton,' Miss Neild appeared under all the principal managements in Australia. George Rignold, Alfred Dampier, Williamson, Brough and Boucicault, J. L. Toole, and others employed Miss Neild throughout the colonies of Australia, and in New Zealand.

In the 90's, with Leumane first, and then Charles Saunders, Miss Neild toured Victoria and N.S.W. with a drawing-room company, and played many of the old musical comedies and excerpts from the grand operas.

The mania for importing companies drove Carrie Bilton from the profession she loved, but up to a few years ago she was seen occasionally in amateur productions. Character studies and Shakespeare parts were her favorite roles. Her performance of Warrigal in 'Robbery Under Arms' was an artistic triumph. Her double of Mrs. Bundle and Robin in 'The Waterman' was a wonderful achievement, and her roles, whether leads or subordinate characters, were all given equal artistic treatment. Miss Neild was a wonderfully quick study, and could always improvise when an awkward stage wait occurred. There arc many scenes incorporated in prompt books written entirely by Carrie Neild. Such artists are not found to-day, as long seasons of successful plays give no chance for the development of the stock actor and actress. The announcement of the death of 'Carrie Bilton' has revived many old memories of a past generation of the dramatic art.

Original publication

Citation details

'Neild, Caroline Emma (Carrie) (1861–1927)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Bilton, Carrie

4 September, 1861
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


29 July, 1927 (aged 65)
Middle Park, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.