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Harold Kyrle Bellew

(1855—1911) actor


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(1855–1911), actor. After spending time in the Royal Navy and appearing on English and Australian stages, he came to America in 1885 and made his debut with Wallack's company as Hubert Hastings in In His Power. Bellew continued with the troupe, playing such classic roles as Captain Absolute and parts in popular melodramas of the day, such as Lt. Kingsley in Harbour Lights and the title role in an adaptation of Tom Jones. In the 1890s he toured as leading man to Mrs. J. Brown-Potter, a rich woman determined to make her mark as an actress. Again he moved from contemporary parts to classics, such as Antony and Romeo. Bellew retired from the stage and spent several years in Australia, where he is reputed to have made a modest fortune, but returned to America to essay the swashbuckling hero of A Gentleman of France (1901), Charles Surface in The School for Scandal (1902), and Romeo to Flora Robson's Juliet in 1903. He then had major hits as Raffles, Chevalier de Vaudrey in an all-star revival of The Two Orphans (1904), and Richard Voysin in The Thief (1907). A critic in Harper's Weekly wrote of Bellew, “He poses and struts, yet one has to confess that his poses are graceful, and his struttings recall a pleasurable memory of days gone by.”

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.


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