Connor, Charles (DNB00)

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CONNOR, CHARLES (d. 1826), comedian, was a native of Ireland, and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He is said in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ for December 1826 to have played at school Euphrasia in the ‘Grecian Daughter,’ to have made his first appearance as an actor at Bath as Fitzharding in the ‘Curfew,’ and to have been the original Lothair. These statements must be taken with reserve. The original Lothair of ‘Adelgitha’ was Elliston, and that of the ‘Miller and his Men’ was Abbott, and the first appearance in London of Connor did not take place until 18 Sept. 1816, two years after the first production of the latter, and nine after that of the earlier piece. Of his Bath performances, moreover, no record exists. His first London character was Sir Patrick McGuire in the ‘Sleep Walker’ of Oulton. From this period until 14 June 1826, when as Kenrick in the ‘Heir-at-Law’ he took a benefit and made his last recorded appearance, he played at Covent Garden a round of characters. These consisted of Irish characters, servants, villains, and the like, the most prominent being Sir Callaghan in Macklin's ‘Love à la Mode,’ Foigard in the ‘Beaux' Stratagem,’ Sir William Davison in an adaptation of Schiller's ‘Mary Stuart,’ Julio in Barry Cornwall's ‘Mirandola,’ Dennis Brulgruddery in the younger Colman's ‘John Bull,’ and Filch in the ‘Beggar's Opera.’ He also played characters in various adaptations of Scott's novels. The original characters assigned him included Terry O'Rourke, otherwise Dr. O'Toole, in the ‘Irish Tutor,’ written expressly for him, Cheltenham 12 July 1822, Covent Garden 28 Oct. 1822; and Dr. O'Rafferty in ‘Cent. per Cent.,’ 29 May 1823. He is said to have played Sir Lucius O'Trigger in the ‘Rivals.’ Connor had a good face, figure, and voice, and was fairly popular. His career in London cannot be regarded as a great success, seeing that he made no advance. He died suddenly of heart disease on 7 Oct. 1826 while crossing St. James's Park to his home in Pimlico, and was buried on 13 Oct. 1826 at the New Church, Chelsea. Connor was a Roman catholic. He left two children and a wife who had been on the stage.

Mrs. Connor is said to have acted at the Haymarket as Grace Gaylove in the ‘Review.’ She played at Covent Garden on 22 May 1820 Manse Headrigg in the ‘Battle of Bothwell Brigg,’ in which her husband was Graham of Claverhouse, Servia in ‘Virginius’ to her husband's Appius, Covent Garden, December 1821, and Duchess of York in ‘Richard III,’ Covent Garden, 12 March 1821. A benefit was given her at the English Opera House (Lyceum) after her husband's death.

[Genest's Account of the English Stage; Biography of the British Stage, 1824; Gent. Mag. 1826; New Monthly Mag.; Theatrical Inquisitor.]

J. K.