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Edward Alleyn (1566–1626) by unknown artist by permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery

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Alleyn, Edward (1566–1626), actor, theatre entrepreneur, and founder of Dulwich College, was born on 1 September 1566 in the London parish of St Botolph without Bishopsgate, 'near Devonshire House, where now is the sign of the Pye'. He was baptized the following day in the parish church, the son of ...

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Bedingfeild [née Draper], Anne (1560–1641), theatre landlord and benefactor, was born in August 1560, the daughter of John Draper (d. 1576) and his wife, Margery, née Wilkes (d. 1600/01), of the parish of St Dunstan-in-the-West, London. Her father was a rich city brewer who owned various freehold properties in the ...

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Cons, Emma (1838–1912), social reformer and theatre manager, was born in London on 4 March 1838, the second daughter in the family of seven children of Frederick Cons (1810–1870), piano-case maker for Broadwoods, and his wife, Esther Goodair (d. 1882), daughter of a ...

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Conti, Italia Emily Stella (1873–1946), actress and founder of the Italia Conti academy of theatre arts, was born on 9 September 1873 at 265 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, the eldest child of Luigi Conti (d. 1884), lyric singer, and his wife, Emily Mary (1844–1914)...

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Dutton, Emily Courtier- [known as Mrs Charles L. Carson; performing name Kittie Claremont] (1862?–1919), theatrical philanthropist, was, according to the age recorded on her death certificate, born in 1862 or 1863, though other sources point to dates as early as 1852/3 (...

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Fogerty, Elsie (1865–1945), founder and principal of the Central School of Speech and Drama, was born at Sydenham, London, on 16 December 1865, the daughter of Joseph Fogerty (d. 1899), engineer and architect, of Dublin, and his wife, Hannah Cochrane (d...

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Elsie Fogerty (1865–1945) by Reginald Grenville Eves, 1937 © reserved; reproduced by courtesy of Central School of Speech and Drama, Embassy Theatre, London

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Kelly, Mary Elfreda (1888–1951), founder of the Village Drama Society, was born on 25 March 1888 at Salcombe vicarage, Devon, the second of the four children of the Revd Maitland Kelly (1842–1929), from 1900 squire of Kelly, Devon, and his second wife, Elfreda Blanche Carey (...

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Elizabeth Robins (1862–1952) by W. & D. Downey, pubd 1893 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Robins, Elizabeth (1862–1952), actress, writer, and feminist, was born at East Walnut Street, Louisville, Kentucky, on 6 August 1862, the eldest daughter of Charles Ephraim Robins (1832–1893), insurance broker and banker, and his cousin and wife, Hannah Maria Crow (1836–1901). Childhood was punctuated by family deaths and dissension. Her half-brother died in adolescence, and one of four brothers died in infancy, as did a sister (the other died aged twenty). The birth of her youngest brother, ...

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Tomlinson, (Philip) Richard Henry (1943–2006), teacher and theatre director, was born on 10 August 1943 at 32 Mansion House Road, Glasgow, the only son (there were two daughters) of David Alan Tomlinson, chartered accountant and teacher, and his wife, Dorothy Maria, née Owston...

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Travers, William Inglis Lindon [Bill] (1922–1994), actor and conservationist, was born on 3 January 1922 at 16 Grosvenor Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, the son of William Halton Lindon Travers, an actor and theatre manager, and his wife, Florence Wheatley. His older sister was the actress ...