Irving, Sir Henry
realisticmelodramas of his day and in Shakespeare's plays, which he liberally abridged. To him acting was movement and emotion; his realistic approach to creating a character, in which he stressed that the actor should incorporate real feelings into his characterization, led to the noted controversy with his French contemporary, Coquelin, who advocated simulated emotion (or representation) in acting. His company frequently toured the United States where he became quite well known. Irving was knighted in 1895, the first actor to be so honored, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
See biographies by B. Stoker (1906), G. Craig (1930), his grandson L. Irving (1952), and C. M. Bingham (1978); studies by A. Hughes (1981), G. Rowell (1981), and M. Holroyd (2009).
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