1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wallack, James William
|←Wallace, William Vincent||1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 28
Wallack, James William
|See also James William Wallack and John Lester Wallack on Wikipedia; and our 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica disclaimer.|
WALLACK, JAMES WILLIAM (c. 1794-1864), Anglo-American actor and manager, was born in London, his parents being actors. He made his first stage appearance at Drury Lane in 1807. After three years in Dublin he was again at Drury Lane until he went to America in 1818. He settled in New York permanently in 1852, the first Wallack's theatre being an old one renamed at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway. The second, at 13th Street and Broadway, he built himself. Wallack was an actor of the old school. Thackeray praises his Shylock, Joseph Jefferson his Don Caesar de Bazan. He married the daughter (d. 1851) of John Henry Johnstone (1740-1828), a popular tenor and stage Irishman. Their son, John Lester Wallack (1820-1888), was born in New York on the 1st of January 1820. At one time in the English army, then on the Dublin and London stage, he made his first stage appearance in New York in 1847 under the name of John Lester as Sir Charles Coldstream, in Boucicault's adaptation of Used Up. He was manager, using the name Wallack, of the second Wallack's theatre from 1861, and in 1882 he opened the third at 30th Street and Broadway. His greatest successes were as Charles Surface, as Benedick, and especially as Elliot Grey in his own play Rosedale, and similar light comedy and romantic parts, for which his fascinating manners and handsome person well fitted him. He married a sister (d. 1909) of Sir John Millais. He wrote his own Memories of Fifty Years.