Herbert Kelcey


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(1856–1917), actor. The eldest son of a well-to-do English country family, he was intended for the army, but elected to become an actor instead and changed his name to avoid hurting his family. After two years on English stages, he came to America, where he made his debut with Wallack's company in 1882. Kelcey subsequently acted with the Madison Square Theatre company, then in 1887 became the leading man in Daniel Frohman's Lyceum Theatre ensemble, remaining there nine seasons. He left in 1896 to replace Maurice Barrymore as Alan Kendrick in The Heart of Maryland. The round-faced, heavy-lidded, but handsome actor became a star with his appearance as the dissipated Edward Fletcher in The Moth and the Flame (1898), followed by des Grieux in Manon Lescaut (1901), Richard Milbank in The Daughters of Men (1906), and William De Burgh Cockane in Shaw's Widowers' Houses (1907). Whether because of age or because he failed to enlist the support of sufficient New York playgoers, much of his remaining career was spent performing major roles in touring companies of Broadway successes.

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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