GEORGE FREDERICK COOKE
actor George Frederick Cooke was born in London, and made his
first appearance on the stage in Brentford at the age of twenty
as Dumont in Jane Shore. His first London appearance was
at the Haymarket
in 1778, but it was not until 1794 in Dublin, as Othello, that
he attained high rank in his profession. In 1801 he appeared
in London as Richard III, Iago, Shylock and Sir Giles Overreach,
and became the rival of Kemble, with whom, however, and with
Mrs. Siddons, he acted from 1803. His intemperate habits unfortunately
grew more and more notorious, and on at least one occasion the
curtain had to be rung down owing to the audience hissing his
drunken condition. He visited the United States in 1810, and
died in New York on the 26th of September 1811. A monument to
his memory was erected in St. Paul's churchyard by Edmund Kean.
This article was originally
published in Encyclopedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition.
F.T.M. Cambridge: University Press, 1911.
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