The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Herbert Beerbohm Tree, 1853-1917

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1853.12.17
Place of Birth: Chelsea, London
Date of Death: 1917.07.02
Place of Death: London


Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree was a celebrated actor-manager.


Tree abandoned the family grain business at an early age for acting career. Under the stage name Beerbohm Tree, he found success in the late 1870s in his role as Grimaldi in 'The Life of an Actress' at the Globe Theatre. But his first national success came with the role of the Marquis de Pontsablé in 'Madame Favart' which toured in 1879. In the 1880s, Tree became his own manager beginning with W. Outram Tristram's 'The Red Lamp', in 1887. This led to a continuous run of successes in other character roles - 'Iago' (1888), W. E. Henley and R. L. Stevenson's 'Beau Austin' (1890), Maeterlinck's 'The Intruder' (1892). He also played the role of Lord Illingworth in Oscar Wilde's 'A Woman of No Importance' when it opened on 19 April 1893. From 1887-96, he was manager and lessee of the Haymarket Theatre. Tree knew JW in the 1890s.


Dictionary of National Biography, on-line edition (accessed June 2004); Who's Who, 1898, London 1898.