Edna Loftus, hermodest career as an actress included chorus work at the Gaiety Theatre, London, in The New Aladdin (29 September 1906) in the small part of Madge Oliphant. That same year she featured in the Christmas pantomime Babes in the Wood at the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh. She later went to the United States, where she is said to have appeared on Broadway.’
‘WANT DRIVES HER TO TRY SUICIDE
‘Edna Loftus Rheinstrom Lies Seriously Ill at Roadhouse as Result of Attempt.
‘SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 21  – Since her attempt last week to drown herself in an effort to end her tragic career, Edna Loftus, who, as a chorus girl in New York and London charmed thousands, and whose marriage to Harry A. Rheinstrom, son of the late millionaire brewer of Cincinnati, furnished some sensational gossip some months ago, has been lying seriously ill at Cairn’s roadhouse.
‘While her husband has been confined in an asylum at Stockton, Edna has been finding it difficult to maintain herself, and her attempt at suicide fallowed three weeks of unsuccessful effort to make both ends meet.
‘STRUGGLE TOO GREAT.
‘Disheartened and discouraged by the constant struggles and buffeting with which she has been contending, and brooding over her husband’s absence and the fact that the guardianship of Rheinstrom was taken from her by the courts when he was sent to the Stockton asylum, she went to Golden Gate park and threw herself in the cold, shallow water of Spreckels lake The water was not as deep as she supposed and as she plunged in, she screamed for help, all idea of suicide gone.
Her screams attracted a man in a passing automobile. He stopped his car and hurrying to the lake, dragged the unhappy but repentant Edna to shore. The man, who did not make known his identity took her to Carin’s at Thirty-sixth avenue and Fulton street, where she has since been living.
‘Edna Loftus was married to Jockey Winnie O’Connor before the couple first met. She divorced him and eloped with Rheinstrom to Covington, Ky., where they were married. They came west to Los Angeles, and then to San Francisco. Rheinstrom engaged in business in Oakland, but neglected it sadly, and was forced to live on his allowance, which his wife found much too small. Finally they were forced to move from their Oakland home by importunate collectors. Rheinstrom then displayed symptoms of insanity, and was committed to Stockton. As his allowance will end on January 1, his wife will be forced to earn her own living entirely.’
(Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, Wednesday, 21 December 1910, p.5b)
‘EDNA LOFTUS DIES IN WARD FOR PAUPERS
‘A life story, in which fame, wealth, poverty, gayety, sorrow and sin played on the soul of a girl who had beauty and talent, came to an end yesterday when Edna Loftus, London music hall singer [sic], who was once the wife of Harry A. Rheinstrom, son of a Cincinnati millionaire, died of tuberculosis at the City and County Hospital in San Francisco.
‘The last chapter in Edna Loftus’ story is like that of the homely novel that is read for the moral contained. The body of the girl who heeded not, so long as money and beauty lasted, will be buried in the potters’ field unless her former husband’s family claims it.
‘When Miss Loftus eloped with Rheinstrom she was at the height of her career, inspired by a desire to put behind them the doubtful pleasures of the night life the couple came to California and attempted to live simply. Rheinstrom’s father would give them no money and soon the wife pined for the lobster palaces and the flowing champagne to which she was accustomed. Then fate, in earnest, began to take from under her one by one the steps of the ladder on which she had climbed to position. Desperately she tried to keep from slipping, but surely, sometimes slowly and often long spaces at a time, she went down.
‘Rheinstrom was sent to the insane asylum at Stockton in 1913 after the couple had achieved notoriety in the night life. He was released a year later, divorced the actress and returned to his home in the East.
‘Three years ago, at Angel Island, she faced deportation as an undesirable alien. It was said that instead of leaving San Francisco, as she had promised the police, she had purchased a share in an infamous resort on Commercial street. There were stories of police investigation of her part in the disappearance of a valuable gold watch belonging to a young hardware merchant of San Francisco.
‘At the time of her death Miss Loftus was the keeper of the Art Hotel, 883 Kearny street, a pathetic figure pointed out in the tenderloin as a bit of a curiosity because once she had been famous on two continents.’
(Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, Friday, 16 June 1916, p.13b)