The New Student's Reference Work/Garrick, David

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Gar′rick, David, a celebrated British actor and dramatist, was born at Hereford, England, Feb. 20, 1717. He studied for a few months under Samuel Johnson, and in 1737 master and pupil set out for London. After some preparation Garrick made his appearance as an actor in 1741. At first he played minor parts, but his success as Richard III was so great that the other theaters were deserted. In 1747 he became manager of Drury Lane theater, which he continued to direct till 1776, when he retired from the stage. During this period Garrick was the great attraction and played continually, his only rest being a trip to the Continent. He died on Jan. 20, 1779, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. As an actor Garrick occupies the first rank. He found the stage given over to formality and tradition, and in their place he left the impress of his own naturalness. He was equally at home in tragedy, comedy and farce. His dramatic productions are of little value. See Percy Fitzgerald's Life of Garrick.