Making her debut at age eighteen as "the spirit of burlesque" in a Boston staging of the extravaganza "Humpty Dumpty," Alice Harrison joined George L. Fox's company and performed the same role in New York City. Because of her exhibitionist verve, John McCullough hired her away from Fox to work in San Francisco. Harrison preferred the East, joined the Boston Museum Theater Company where she appeared in "Photos" and "Viva." Her forte was the large gestured comic performing found in extravaganzas, consequently Edward Rice secured her as a performer in his famous "Surprise Party."
Having grown up in a theatrical family, Harrison could manage drama as well, and appeared as a supporting actress in the 1880s with Edwin Booth and Lawrence Barrett. She was in McCaull's comic opera company, and sang in "The Magic Kiss" and "A Daughter of the Revolution." In 1892 she contracted Bright's disease causing her withdrawal from the stage.
Notes: Obituary, New York Herald-Tribune (May 5, 1896), 7. David S. Shields/ALS