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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 ...

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

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

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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 ...

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 ...

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Ira Frederick Aldridge (1807?–1867) by Henry Perronet Briggs, c. 1830 [as Othello] National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

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Aldridge, Ira Frederick (1807?–1867), actor, was probably born on 24 July 1807 in New York city, the son of Daniel Aldridge, a lay preacher. Little is known of his mother, Lurona, who died when he was a youth. He was the first major African-American actor, although virtually all of his appearances were in ...

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Dave Allen (1936–2005) by Trevor Leighton, 1999 Camera Press, London

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Allen, Dave [real name David Edward John Archer Cullen Tynan-O'Mahony] (1936–2005), comedian, was born on 6 July 1936 at Merrion House, Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin, the youngest of three sons of (Gerard John) Cullen Tynan-O'Mahony (b. 1900), journalist and managing editor of the ...

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Allen, James John [Jim] (1926–1999), playwright and scriptwriter, was born on 7 October 1926 at 31 Higher Duke Street, Miles Platting, Manchester, the second child of John (Jack) Allen, a railway labourer, and his wife, Catherine (Kitty) Lee. The family was of Irish descent. After attending local Roman Catholic schools, ...

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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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Sara Allgood (1883–1950) attrib. Robert Gregory National Gallery of Ireland

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Allgood, Sara (1883–1950), actress, was born in Dublin on 31 October 1883, the second daughter of George Allgood (d. in or before 1911), a printing compositor, and his wife, Margaret Harold, a second-hand furniture seller.

Sara was educated at Marlborough Street Training College, Dublin...

Article

Anderson [married name Sykes], Marjorie Enid (1913–1999), radio broadcaster, was born on 7 November 1913 at 35 Barton Street, London, the only child of Harold Harry Anderson (d. 1918/19), private secretary, of independent means, and his wife, Charlotte Augusta, née Boyle (...

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Mary Anderson (1859–1940) by W. & D. Downey, 1889 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Anderson, Mary (1859–1940), actress, was born in Sacramento, California, USA, on 28 July 1859, the daughter of Charles Henry Anderson (d. 1863) and his wife, Antonia Leugers, and named Mary Antoinette. Her mother, a Philadelphian of German, staunchly Catholic descent, had been disowned by her family after eloping to ...

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Eamonn Andrews (1922–1987) by Godfrey Argent, 1970 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Andrews, Eamonn (1922–1987), radio and television broadcaster, was born on 19 December 1922 at 11 Synge Street, Dublin, Ireland, the second of five children and elder son of William Andrews, carpenter, and his wife, Margaret Farrell. He was educated at a Dublin convent and the ...