Tarlton, Richard, d. 1588, Elizabethan actor and clown. One of the Queen's Men, he gained fame for his improvised jests, jigs, and doggerel. A collection of anecdotes, Tarlton's Jests (pub. 1592?–1611?), is attributed to him. He is thought to have been the model for the jester Yorick described in Hamlet.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Theater: Biographies