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E. D. Cook

revised by Katharine Cockin

Abbot, William (1790–1843), actor, was born at Chelsea, London, on 12 June 1790. He made his stage début in 1806 at Bath, and remained a member of the Bath company for some seasons. He appeared at the Haymarket in London in the summer of 1808, on the occasion of the benefit of the tragedian ...

Article

Acres, Birt (1854?–1918), film-maker, was born in Richmond, Virginia, USA, most probably on 23 July 1854, to British parents who had emigrated to America as prospective farmers. No record of his early life has been found; we know only that his father's name was ...

Article

Adams, Douglas Noël (1952–2001), writer, was born on 11 March 1952 at the maternity hospital in Cambridge, the son of Christopher Douglas Adams (d. 1985) and his wife, Janet Dora Sydney, née Donovan.

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Douglas Noël Adams (1952–2001) by Brian Griffin, 1986 © Brian Griffin; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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(Wilfred) Robert Adams (c. 1900–1965) by Frank Lilley, 1949 Getty Images – Frank Lilley

Article

Adams, (Wilfred) Robert (c. 1900–1965), actor, was born in Georgetown, British Guiana, the son of Robert Adams, boat builder. He was educated at St Stephen's Scots School, later St Joseph's Intermediate. In 1920 he won a government scholarship to be trained as a teacher at ...

Article

Robert Speaight

revised by Stanley Wells

Adams, William Bridges- (1889–1965), theatre producer, was born on 1 March 1889 at 8 Marlborough Villas, Wealdstone, Harrow, the only son of Walter Bridges Adams (d. 1902), tutor, and his wife, Mary Jane Daltry (1854–1939) [see Adams, Mary Jane Bridges-]. Nothing in his background suggested a theatrical career, and he remained to the end of his days a quite untheatrical person. But he was brought up on ...

Article

Adler, Jacob (1855–1926), actor, was born on 1 January 1855 in Odessa, Ukraine, the son of Feivl Abramovich, an Orthodox Jewish wheat merchant, and his wife, Hesye. Of the twelve children of Hesye and Feivl (she had one son with her first husband, whom she divorced), only ...

Article

Adrian, Max [real name Max Bor] (1903–1973), actor, was born on 1 November 1903 in northern Ireland, the son of Edward Norman Cavendish Bor and his wife, Mabel Lloyd, née Thornton. He was educated at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, renowned for its teaching of English, whose past pupils included ...

Article

Ivor Brown

revised by Marc Brodie

Agate, James Evershed (1877–1947), drama critic, was born at Pendleton, Lancashire, on 9 September 1877, the eldest of the five sons and one daughter of Charles James Agate (1832–1909), cotton manufacturer's agent, and his wife, Eulalie Julia Young, daughter of a widowed piano teacher. Although generally regarded during his lifetime as the writer from ...

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James Evershed Agate (1877–1947) by Howard Coster, 1934 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

W. C. Monkhouse

revised by Arianne Burnette

Aggas, Robert (c. 1620–c. 1682), landscape and scene painter, was the son of Samuel Agas of St Andrew's parish, Holborn. The family was originally from Stoke by Nayland in Suffolk. Samuel Agas was the son of Edward Aggas, a bookseller and printer, and relative of ...

Article

Aherne, (William) Brian de Lacy (1902–1986), actor, was born on 2 May 1902 at The Pleasaunce, King's Norton, Worcestershire, the son of William Lacy Ahern (1867–1945) (who later amended his name to Willoughby de Lacy Aherne), architect, and his wife, Annie ...

Article

Aickin, Francis (c. 1735–1812), actor, was born in Dublin. After a brief period of work in his father's weaving business, in 1754 he followed his younger brother James Aickin into the theatre, and over the next ten years performed in most of Ireland's...

Article

Aickin, James (c. 1736–1803), actor, was born in Dublin, the younger son of a weaver. While still under the age of twenty he joined an Irish theatre company, thus setting a precedent which his older brother Francis Aickin would soon follow. Aickin made a sufficient impression to earn himself a place at the ...

Article

S. R. Littlewood

revised by K. D. Reynolds

Ainley, Henry Hinchliffe (1879–1945), actor, was born at Morley, near Leeds, on 21 August 1879, the only son and eldest child of Richard Ainley, cloth finisher, and his wife, Ada Hinchliffe. After education at the church school of St Peter's, Morley, he became clerk in a bank at ...

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Ray Alan (1930–2010) by Monty Fresco, 1979 [with puppet Lord Charles] © Monty Fresco / Rex Features

Article

Alan, Ray [name in religion Raymond Alan Whyberd] (1930–2010), ventriloquist, writer, and television presenter, was born on 18 September 1930 at 83 Dutton Street, Greenwich, London, the fourth son of Albert William Whyberd (1895–1984), shipping clerk, later a local government officer, and his wife, ...

Article

Albery, Sir Bronson James (1881–1971), theatre director, was born at Greenhithe, Kent, on 6 March 1881, the second in the family of three sons of James Albery (1838–1889), dramatist, and his wife, Mary Charlotte Moore (1861–1931), actress, later Lady Wyndham. He was named after the American dramatist ...

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Sir Bronson James Albery (1881–1971) by Howard Coster, 1935 © National Portrait Gallery, London