Life in the playhouse did not conduce to health. The authorities became particularly concerned with the well-being of children who grew up on stage. Daisy Murdock, who died at age eighteen of tuberculosis, was a signal case. She had performed as a dancer in entertainments since age ten and had become a popular photographer's model in New York City. When her failing condition became known to the New York performing community in summer of 1886, they organized a benefit on her behalf. Too little too late.
At age sixteen she had become generally admired for her work as a soubrette in "H.M.S. Pinafore" and "Eurydice." She had also performed in a number of mindless entertainments such as Nat Goodwin's "Skating Rink." She sang, danced, and flirted with a charming directness. Notices of her death appeared in myriad newspapers, always presented as a singularly pitiable happenstance. David S. Shields/ALS