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WILLIAM HUNTER KENDAL (1843– )

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Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 727 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WILLIAM HUNTER KENDAL (1843– ), English actor, whose family name was Grimston, was born in London on the 16th of December 1843, the son of a painter. He made his first stage appearance at Glasgow in 1862 as Louis XIV., in A Life's Revenge, billed as " Mr Kendall." After some experience at Birmingham and elsewhere, he joined the Haymarket company in London in 1866, acting everything from burlesque to Romeo. In 1869 he married Margaret (Madge) Shafto Robertson (b. 1849), sister of the dramatist, T. W. Robertson. As " Mr and Mrs Kendal " their professional careers then became inseparable. Mrs Kendal's first stage appearance was as Marie, " a child," in The Orphan of the Frozen Sea in 1854 in London. She soon showed such talent both as actress and singer that she secured numerous engagements, and by 1865 was playing Ophelia and Desdemona. She was Mary Meredith in Our American Cousin with Sothern, and Pauline to his Claud Melnotte. But her real triumphs were at the Haymarket in Shakespearian revivals and the old English comedies. While Mr Kendal played Orlando; Charles Surface, Jack Absolute and Young Marlowe, his wife made the combination perfect with her Rosalind, Lady Teazle, Lydia Languish and Kate Hardcastle; and she created Galatea in Gilbert's Pygmalion and Galatea (1871). Short seasons followed at the Court theatre and at the Prince of Wales's, at the latter of which they joined the Bancrofts in Diplomacy and other plays. Then in 1879 began a long association with Mr (afterwards Sir John) Hare as joint-managers of the St James's theatre, some of their notable successes being in The Squire, Impulse, The Ironmaster and A Scrap of Paper. In 1888, however, the Hare and Kendal regime came to an end. From that time Mr and Mrs Kendal chiefly toured in the provinces and in America, with an occasional season at rare intervals in London.
End of Article: WILLIAM HUNTER KENDAL (1843– )
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