Violet Vanbrugh

Violet Vanbrugh

Biography Violet Vanbrugh (1867-1942) was the elder sister of Irene Vanbrugh. Both became distinguished actresses. Violet acted in the companies of the Kendals (with whom she toured America) and Henry Irving. In 1894, with her new husband, the actor Arthur Bourchier, she went to the USA and they both played with Augustin Daly’s Company in New York.

Vesta Tilley

Vesta Tilley

Biography Vesta Tilley (1864-15) was Britain’s most popular male impersonator and one of the country’s most successful music hall performers. Born Matilda Alice Victoria Powers, she was the second of thirteen children fathered by an ex-factory worker who, using the name Harry Ball, presented his own comedy act in the halls and was a sometime […]

Sybil Arundale

Sybil Arundale

Biography Sybil Arundale (1882-1965) was born Sybil Kelly. At the age of 11, she started what was to be a long and varied stage career, performing with her sister, Grace, in an act billed as ‘The Sisters Arundale’. The music-hall double-act survived for a few years and, although Sybil afterwards continued to perform in vaudeville […]

George Alexander

George Alexander

Biography Sir George Alexander (1858-1918) became an actor in 1879 – rather than becoming a financier as his parents had wished. He joined Henry Irving at the Lyceum in 1881 and stayed until 1889. Shortly after leaving, he became the lessee of the St. James’s Theatre where he was the first British producer of many […]

Simon Callow

Simon Callow

Biography Simon Callow, the British actor and director, was born in 1949. He attended Queen’s College, Belfast, for a year but left to train at London’s Drama Centre. After various provincial work, including small parts in Edinburgh and two months in repertory at Lincoln, he made his London debut in a Traverse Theatre production of […]

Shirley Booth

Shirley Booth

Biography Shirley Booth (1898-1992) was a distinguished and versatile actor. After working in stock companies for six years, she made her New York with Humphrey Bogart in Hell

Sheila Gish

Sheila Gish

Biography Sheila Gish (born 1942) has, since the early 1980s, been in the front rank of British actresses. She was born in Lincoln and made her acting debut at school in the role of the psychotic Jonathan Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace. She trained at RADA and then played in repertory at Birmingham and […]

Seymour Hicks

Seymour Hicks

Biography Sir Seymour Hicks (1871-1949) was a distinguished actor-manager, playwright and early film star, whose theatrical career extended for more than 60 years.

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