Honey, George (DNB00)

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HONEY, GEORGE (1822–1880), actor and vocalist, born 25 May 1822, made his first appearance in London at the Princess's Theatre, November 1848, as Pan in ‘Midas.’ He then joined the Pyne and Harrison company at Covent Garden, appearing in various operas, and played in 1860 at Her Majesty's in Macfarren's ‘Robin Hood.’ Quitting the lyric for the dramatic stage, he appeared at the Strand, 9 Oct. 1863, in ‘Miriam's Crime,’ in which he played a disreputable lawyer, and gave a good presentation of drunkenness. In September 1865 he played at the Royalty Turco the Terrible in William Brough's burlesque ‘Prince Amabel,’ and on 2 July 1866 at the Princess's was Annibal Locust, a bibulous sergeant, in the ‘Huguenot Captain’ of Watts Phillips. His performance of Eccles in Robertson's ‘Caste,’ Prince of Wales's, 6 April 1867, greatly raised his reputation. This was indeed a remarkable performance, a little too robust perhaps for its surroundings, but genuinely comic. In the opening performance of the Vaudeville, 16 April 1870, he was Major Buncombe in Andrew Halliday's ‘For Love or Money.’ Graves in ‘Money’ had been assumed by him at the Holborn in 1869 under Mr. Barry Sullivan. His impersonation attracted more attention on the revival of Lord Lytton's play at the Prince of Wales's, March 1872, and again in May 1875. Among his later creations the most successful was Cheviot Hill in Mr. W. S. Gilbert's ‘Engaged,’ Haymarket, 3 Oct. 1877. Honey also acted in America. He was a useful singer and a clever comedian, but was most successful in the presentation of eccentric and dissipated characters. Ill-health compelled his retirement in 1879, and after one or two unimportant appearances for benefits he died in London of aneurism of the heart 28 May 1880. He was buried in Highgate cemetery, where a medallion surmounts his grave.

[Personal recollections; Pascoe's Dramatic List; Era newspaper, 30 May 1880; Dutton Cook's Nights at the Play; Era Almanack, various years.]

J. K.