UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Biography

Charles Wyndham, 1837-1919

Nationality: British
Date of Birth: 1837.03.37
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1919
Place of Death:

Identity:

Charles Wyndham was an actor and theatre impressario.

Life:

He abandoned an early career in medicine for the stage although he spent a stint as an army surgeon during the American Civil War (a position he secured through P. T. Barnum). In 1865 he returned to London and began to play roles in burlesques and light drama. He went on to play Shakespearean roles at the Queen's Theatre alongside Henry Irving, Henrietta Hodson and others.

Wyndham is also remembered for his management of the Criterion Theatre which he took over in 1875 and ran for some twenty-three years. His success as an actor-producer of farce and political drama there led to his move in 1899 to the eponymously named Wyndham's Theatre which he built for himself. There he staged comedies and new plays (including a translation of Cyrano de Bergerac) with considerable success. He was knighted in 1902.

Bibliography:

Obituary: 'Death Of Sir Charles Wyndham. A Notable Stage Career,' The Times, London, 13 January 1919, p. 11; Trewin, Wendy, All Stage. Charles Wyndham and the Alberys, London, 1980; Thomas Edgar Pemberton, Sir Charles Wyndham. A biography, London, 1904; Teignmouth, Florence, Sir Charles Wyndham, 1907; Corathiel, Elizabethe Helene Christine and W. L. Courtney, Charles Wyndham. Actor-manager. [An appreciation.], [1937].