Lacy, Walter (DNB01)

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

LACY, WALTER (1809–1898), actor, whose real name was Williams, the son of a coach-builder in Bristol, born in 1809, was educated for the medical profession, went to Australia, and was first seen on the stage in Edinburgh, in 1829, as Montalban in the 'Honeymoon,' was playing there again in 1832, and acted also in Glasgow, Liverpool, and Manchester. His debut in London was at the Haymarket on 21 Aug. 1838 as Charles Surface. At Covent Garden he appeared, about 1841, as Captain Absolute, and at Drury Lane as Wildrake in the 'Love Chase.' With Charles Kean [q. v.] at the Princess's he was, on 18 Sept. 1852, the original Rouble in Boucicault's 'Prima Donna,' and made a great success as Chateau Renaud in the 'Corsican Brothers.' With Kean he played John of Gaunt in 'Richard II,' Edmund in 'Lear,' Gratiano and Lord Trinket in the 'Jealous Wife.' On 30 June 1860 he was, at the Lyceum, the Marquis of Saint Evremont in 'A Tale of Two Cities,' and at Drury Lane on 17 Oct. 1864 was Cloten to Miss Faucit's Imogen. He was Flutter in the 'Belle's Stratagem' on 8 Oct. 1866 at the St. James's, where he was on 5 Nov. the first John Leigh in 'Hunted Down, or Two Lives of John Leigh.' In two Lyceum revivals of 'Romeo and Juliet' he was Mercutio. On 12 Aug. 1868 he was, at the Princess's, the original Bellingham in Boucicault's 'After Dark.' Other parts in which he was seen were Benedick, Comus, Faulconbridge, Malvolio, Touchstone, Prospero, Roderigo, Henry VIII, Young Marlow, Sir Brilliant Fashion, Goldfinch, Tony Lumpkin, Bob Acres, Dazzle, Flutter, Dudley Smooth, Megrim in 'Blue Devils,' Ghost in 'Hamlet,' My Lord Duke in 'High Life below Stairs,' Jeremy Diddler, and Puff. After a long absence from the stage, occupied with teaching elocution at the Royal Academy of Music, he reappeared at the Lyceum in April 1879 as Colonel Damas in Sir Henry Irving's revival of the 'Lady of Lyons.' He died on 13 Dec. 1898 at 13 Marine Square, Brighton, and was buried at Brompton cemetery on the 17th. Lacy was a respectable light comedian, but failed as an exponent of old men and was a wretched Sir Anthony Absolute. He was a familiar figure at the Garrick Club, which owns a portrait of him in oils, and was almost to the last a man of much vivacity, and of quaint, clever, unbridled, and characteristic speech. He married Miss Taylor, an actress [see Lacy, Harriette Deborah].

[Personal knowledge; Clark Russell's Representative Actors (supplement); Dibdin's Edinburgh Stage; Pascoe's Dramatic List; Scott and Howard's Blanchard; Hollingshead's Gaiety Chronicles; Era, 17 Dec. 1898; Coles Life of Charles Kean; Era Almanack, and Sunday Times, various years; private information.]

J. K.