- (1879-1955)One of the last prominent actors in the 19th-century romantic style, Brooklyn-born and Harvard-educated Walter Hampden apprenticed with F. R. Benson's British stage company, where he received theatrical training in Shakespeare and in the classics. Hampden's 1907 American debut as Alla Nazimova's leading man in productions of The Comtesse Coquette, The Master Builder, and A Doll's House led to a long career in which he vacillated between popular contemporary plays and the classics. Among new plays, Hampden scored successes in The Servant in the House (1908), The City (1909), and Good Gracious Annabelle (1916), but much of his reputation was built in Shakespearean roles in Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, and others. Hampden made a noteworthy Cyrano de Bergerac in a 1923 Broadway revival of Edmund Rostand's 1898 romantic drama, as well as the title role in another 19th-century staple, Edward Bulwer-Lytton's Richelieu, which he first performed in 1929. During the 1940s, Hampden was a member of the American Repertory Theatre* ensemble and his career continued well into the 1950s in motion pictures. He made a final stage appearance in Arthur Miller's* The Crucible* (1953).See also Bragdon, Claude.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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Walter Hampden — Walter H Dougherty … Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games