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Mansfield, Richard

MANSFIELD, RICHARD (1857-1907), American actor, was born on the 24th of May 1857, in Berlin, his mother being Madame [Erminia] Rudersdorff (1822-1882), the singer, and his father, Maurice Mansfield (d. 1861), a London wine merchant. He first appeared on the stage at St George's Hall, London, and then drifted into light opera, playing the Major-General in The Pirates of Penzance, and the Lord High Executioner in The Mikado, both in the English provinces and in America. In 1883 he joined A.M. Palmer's Union Square theatre company in New York, and made a great hit as Baron Chevrial in A Parisian Romance, He appeared successfully in several plays adapted from well-known stories, and his rendering (1887) of the doubled title-parts in R. L. Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde created a profound impression. It was with this play that he made his London reputation during a season (1888) at the Lyceum theatre, by invitation of Henry Irving. He produced Richard III. the next year at the Globe. Among his other chief successes were Prince Karl, Cyrano de Bergerac and Monsieur Beaucaire. He was one of the earliest to produce G. Bernard Shaw's plays in America, appearing in 1894 as Bluntschli in Arms and the Man, and as Dick Dudgeon in The Devil's Disciple in 1897. As a manager and producer of plays Mansfield was remarkable for his lavish staging. He died in New London, Connecticut, on the 30th of August 1907.

;See the lives by Paul Wilstach (1908) and William Winter (1910).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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