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David Garrick

(1717—1779) actor and playwright


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(1717–79),

of Huguenot descent, became a pupil of Dr Johnson at Edial. He accompanied Johnson to London. In 1741 he appeared as an actor at Ipswich in Southerne's Oroonoko. Later that year he made his London début as Richard III and subsequently proved his versatility by many successes in both comic and tragic parts. He wrote a number of lively farces, including Bon Ton, or High Life above Stairs (1775), and collaborated with Colman the elder in writing The Clandestine Marriage (1766). In 1747 he joined Lacy in the management of Drury Lane, where he produced many of Shakespeare's dramas; he made his last appearance in 1776, when he sold his share of the patent to Sheridan and two others for; 35,000. In 1773 he was elected a member of Johnson's Club; his interesting correspondence with many of the most distinguished men of his day was published in 1831–2 and in a greatly enlarged collection in 1963. Garrick's fame as an actor was unsurpassed. He was painted by many of his celebrated contemporaries, including Reynolds, Hogarth, and Gainsborough.

Subjects: Literature — Theatre.


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