Evans, Charles Evan
- (1856-1945)Born in Rochester, New York, and on stage from age 13, the "dean of American comedians" and sometime manager racked up 75 years in theatre. He made his child debut in legitimate theatre, but launched his adult career in variety, as part of a trio, Bryant, Evans, & Hoey, then in the two-act, Evans & Hoey. In 1885, they began performing Charles H. Hoyt's A Parlor Match, which "gave Messrs. Evans & Hoey an opportunity to display their peculiar and entertaining antics" (New York Times, 28 April 1885). Evans set a record of 3,600 performances in that play, capped by Bill Hoey's return to the show for an 1896 revival, with the same "energy and effectiveness" animating "all the old absurdities" (New York Times, 22 September 1896).Evans had already ventured into management with his lease of the Herald Square Theatre, which he opened in 1894 with the first American production of George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man, starring Richard Mansfield as Bluntschli and Beatrice Cameron as Raina. In association with Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., Evans brought Anna Held to America in 1896. After managerial vicissitudes, he returned to acting, enjoying star appearances under B. C. Whitney's management in 1909, touring with the Henry Duffy Players, playing the Orpheum vaudeville circuit with his wife Helena Phillips, moving into character roles, and finally, motion picture acting.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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