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David Garrick
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Actor
    (February 19, 1717-January 20, 1779)
    Born in Hereford, England, United Kingdom
    Notable roles included Richard III, King Lear, Hamlet, MacBeth, Abel Drugger in Ben Jonson's 'The Alchemist' and Captain Plume in George Farquhar's 'The Recruiting Officer'
    Co-owner and manager of the Drury Lane Theatre (1747-76)
    Before taking up acting, he was an unsuccessful wine merchant.
    He initially acted under a pseudonym to avoid embarrassing his family.
    He wrote 20 plays, which are almost never revived.
    As manager of Drury Lane, he consistently rejected contemporary plays, such as Oliver Goldsmith's 'She Stoops to Conquer.'
    He staged a Jubilee to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth that was five years late and did not feature the performance of a single Shakespearean play (1769).
    His naturalistic style revolutionized acting.
    After watching his performance as Richard III, Alexander Pope said, 'That young man never had his equal, and never will have a rival.'
    During thirty years of marriage, he and wife Eva Marie Viegel never spent a single night apart.
    He wrote lyrics for 'Heart of Oak,' the official march of the Royal Navy.
    He was the first actor buried in Westminster Abbey.
    Samuel Johnson wrote, 'His profession made him rich, and he made his profession respectable.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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