Edward O'Connor Terry

Edward O'Connor Terry

Edward O'Connor Terry (1844–1912), English actor, was born in London, allegedly the illegitimate son of Feargus O'Connor, Irish Chartist leader and advocate of the land plan.

Life and career

Terry began his stage career in small companies in the provinces before later coming to national attention as one of the most influential actors and comedians of the Victorian era.

Between 1868 and 1875, Terry was the leading comedian at the Royal Strand Theatre in London, but it was not until he joined John Hollingshead's company at the Gaiety Theatre, London in 1876 that he became a public favourite in the burlesques produced there during the next eight years. With Nellie Farren, Kate Vaughan and E. W. Royce, he made the fortune of this house, his eccentric acting and singing creating a style which had many imitators. Some of the roles in which he appeared there included Mephistopheles in "Little Doctor Faust" (1878).

In 1887 he went into management, opening Terry's Theatre, built on the site of the old Coal Hole Public House and music hall on the Strand. It was here that his production of Arthur Wing Pinero's "Sweet Lavender" was a great success. But in subsequent years he was only occasionally seen at his own theatre and made many tours in the provinces and in Australia, America and South Africa. Off the stage he was well known as an ardent Freemason and an indefatigable member of the councils of many charities and of public bodies.

References

*Hollingshead, John. "Gaiety Chronicles" (1898) A. Constable & co.: London (available online [http://books.google.com/books?id=CzgOAAAAIAAJ&dq=john+hollingshead+gaiety+chronicles here]
*Hollingshead, John. "Good Old Gaiety: An Historiette & Remembrance" (1903) London:Gaity Theatre Co
*1911


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