James, David

JAMES, DAVID (1839-1893), English actor, was born in London, his real name being Belasco. He began his stage career at an early age, and after 1863 gradually made his way in humorous parts. His creation, in 1875, of the part of Perkyn Middlewick in Our Boys made him famous as a comedian, the performance obtaining for the piece a then unprecedented run from the 16th of January 1875 till the 18th of April 1879. In 1885 he had another notable success as Blueskin in Little Jack Sheppard at the Gaiety Theatre, his principal associates being Fred Leslie and Nellie Farren. His song in this burlesque, " Botany Bay," became widely popular. In the part of John Dory in Wild Oats he again made a great hit at the Criterion Theatre in 1886; and among his other most successful impersonations were Simon Ingot in David Garrick, Tweedie in Tweedie's Rights, Macclesfield in The Guv'nor, and Eccles in Caste. His unctuous humour and unfailing spirits made him a great favourite with the public. He died on the 2nd of October 1893.

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

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