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James William Wallack

Wallack, James William (wŏlˈək) [key], c.1795–1864, Anglo-American actor and manager. Of a theatrical family, he was a leading actor (1812–32) in both comedy and melodrama at Drury Lane. After 1852 he lived in the United States. In New York City he managed Wallack's National (1837–39), Wallack's Lyceum (1852), and Wallack's (1861), where he maintained one of the best theatrical companies in New York. His son, Lester Wallack (John Johnstone Wallack), 1820–88, also an actor-manager, gained experience in Dublin and London and made his New York debut in 1847. He was best in comic and romantic roles. Lester succeeded to the management of Wallack's in 1861; in 1882 he simultaneously operated another Wallack's at Broadway and 30th St. He wrote, produced, and played in a variety of dramas, but his best production was his own play Rosedale (1863).

See his Memoirs of Fifty Years (1889).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Theater: Biographies


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