Holy Cross Cemetery Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Foley McKeever aka Ricardo (1849 – October 30, 1883), well and favorably known as a clever female impersonator, was with Mrs. Matthew Peel's Minstrels about 1863.
Subsequently he appeared with the Associated Artists of Kelly and Leon in 1869. Early in 1870 he joined Billy Emerson's Minstrels, and on April 10, 1871, made his debut with Manning's Minstrels in Chicago.
He was a member of Haverty's Minstrels in November, 1873, after the latter withdrew from Cal. Wagner. Later he was associated with some of the principal minstrel organisations.
"Ricardo" was born in Ireland, about 1849; he died in New York City, October 30, 1883.
The funeral of Foley McKeever, better known through his stage name of R.M. Ricardo, or "the Great Ricardo," who was well known to the theater going public of Brooklyn, took place at St. Agnes' R.C. Church. The services were attended by almost the entire company of the San Francisco Minstrels iu New York, including Billy Birch, Frank Cushmau, W. S. Mullaly, James Adams, Frank Moyning, Robert Slavin, F.G. Withers, Frank Casey, S. Schoolcraft, James Hamilton, Joseph Wood, Master Martin, Thomas Campbell, Author Moorland, Frank Gerard and Robert Elwin. A requiem mass was held Father Duffy acting as colebrant. Although McKeever had led a public life and been constantly subjected to all the temptations inseparable from his profession he was a good Christian at heart, and one of his greatest virtues was his great love for his mother.
Ricardo was one of the best known actors in his profession, aud had long held a first place in his specialty of female impersonator. He made his greatest reputation with the San Francisco Minstrel Company, with which he had been connected for the last ten years of his life, having joined the company in the Spring of 1873. When Hooley's Minstrels in Brooklyn were in their prime, and the names of Archy Hughes, John Mulligan, Billy Emerson, Frank Lewis, George Charles, George Hermann, Billy Prendergast and Joe K. Emmett adorned the bills of the entertainment, the great Ricardo was also a member of the company and even at that time famous for his powers of mimicry. After leaving the Hooley company, Ricardo acted with one minstrel entertainment and another throughout the country until his talent attracted tho attention of Charley Backus, who secured him for the San Francisco Minstrel Company. From that time on Ricardo's star kept ascending, and at the time of his death, although still a young man, he ranked with such well known minstrel performers as Billy Birch, Charley Backus, Dan Bryant and others of like reputation.
Ricardo made his last appearance on October 24, 1883, in the burlesque of "X-Seltzer." After the performance he complained of being very unwell and grow worse rapidly until a week later he passed away quietly, his mother being with him and attending him constantly until tho time of his death.
"He was one of the best hearted boys in my company," said Mr. Birch. "He was generally admired by us all, not only for his talent but also for his intrinsic manliness, which displayed itself on all occasions. I don't know how we shall be able to fill the position he held, as I know of no one capable of taking his place on the stage."
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