Henry V. Esmond

Last updated

Henry V. Esmond LCCN2014695074 (cropped).jpg
His grave in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Henry V. Esmond tombe.jpg
His grave in Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

Henry Vernon Esmond (30 November 1869 17 April 1922) was a British actor and playwright. [1] [2]

Esmond was born Harry Esmond Jack in Hampton Court, Middlesex, the son of Richard George Jack, a physician and surgeon and his wife Mary Rynd. He was baptised on 22 February 1870 at the Church of St Mary, Hampton Court, Middlesex. He began his career as an actor in London in 1889 [3] where he had several successes in comedies. He began writing plays, usually comedies, while in his early twenties. These plays were very popular and were also highly fashionable with their themes of light-hearted romance appealing to the audience of the day. He toured with a number of these plays and co-starred in them with his wife, Eva Moore. [4]

His plays were also well received in the United States where nine of them were produced on Broadway between 1899 and 1907. For the next Broadway production, Eliza Comes to Stay , Esmond travelled to New York to appear alongside his wife and the popular actor Leslie Banks. This proved to be the greatest success of his career. He continued writing, acting and touring until his sudden death in Paris caused by pneumonia. [5] He is buried in the Old Cemetery of Saint-Germain-en-Laye near Paris. [6]

He was the father of the actress Jill Esmond. [7]

Related Research Articles

<i>The Second Mrs Tanqueray</i> 1893 stage play by Arthur Wing Pinero

The Second Mrs. Tanqueray is a problem play by Arthur Wing Pinero. It utilises the "Woman with a past" plot, popular in nineteenth century melodrama. The play was first produced in 1893 by the actor-manager George Alexander and despite causing some shock to his audiences by its scandalous subject it was a box-office success, and was revived in London and New York in many productions during the 20th century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charles Hawtrey (actor, born 1858)</span> British actor and producer

Sir Charles Henry Hawtrey was an English actor, director, producer and manager. He pursued a successful career as an actor-manager, specialising in debonair, often disreputable, parts in popular comedies. He occasionally played in Sheridan and other classics, but was generally associated with new works by writers including Oscar Wilde and Somerset Maugham.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nigel Bruce</span> British actor (1895–1953)

William Nigel Ernle Bruce was a British character actor on stage and screen. He was best known for his portrayal of Dr. Watson in a series of films and in the radio series The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Bruce is also remembered for his roles in the Alfred Hitchcock films Rebecca and Suspicion, as well as the Charlie Chaplin film Limelight.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Guy Bolton</span> Anglo-American playwright and writer of musical comedies (1884–1979)

Guy Reginald Bolton was an Anglo-American playwright and writer of musical comedies. Born in England and educated in France and the US, he trained as an architect but turned to writing. Bolton preferred working in collaboration with others, principally the English writers P. G. Wodehouse and Fred Thompson, with whom he wrote 21 and 14 shows respectively, and the American playwright George Middleton, with whom he wrote ten shows. Among his other collaborators in Britain were George Grossmith Jr., Ian Hay and Weston and Lee. In the US, he worked with George and Ira Gershwin, Kalmar and Ruby and Oscar Hammerstein II.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eva Moore</span> English actress

Eva Moore was an English actress. Her career on stage and in film spanned six decades, and she was active in the women's suffrage movement. In her 1923 book of reminiscences, Exits and Entrances, she describes approximately ninety of her roles in plays, but she continued to act on stage until 1945. She also acted in more than two dozen films. Her daughter, Jill Esmond, was the first wife of Laurence Olivier.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jill Esmond</span> British actress (1908–1990)

Jill Esmond was an English stage and screen actress. She was the first wife of Laurence Olivier.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Leslie Banks</span> English actor

Leslie James Banks CBE was an English stage and screen actor, director and producer, now best remembered for playing gruff, menacing characters in black-and-white films of the 1930s and 1940s, but also the Chorus in Laurence Olivier's wartime version of Henry V.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Richard Mansfield</span> 19th-century English actor-manager

Richard Mansfield was an English actor-manager best known for his performances in Shakespeare plays, Gilbert and Sullivan operas, and the play Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dion Boucicault Jr.</span> American actor

Dion Boucicault Jr. was an actor and stage director. A son of the well-known playwright Dion Boucicault and actress Agnes Robertson, he followed his father into the theatrical profession and made a career as a character actor and a director. In addition to extensive work in the West End of London, he spent considerable time in Australia, where he went into management in the 1880s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Henry Lytton</span> British actor and singer (1865–1936)

Sir Henry Lytton was an English actor and singer who was the leading exponent of the starring comic patter-baritone roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operas from 1909 to 1934. He also starred in musical comedies. His career with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company spanned 50 years, and he is the only performer ever knighted for achievements in Gilbert and Sullivan roles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tim Moore (comedian)</span> American actor (1887–1958)

Tim Moore was an American vaudevillian and comic actor of the first half of the 20th century. He gained his greatest recognition in the starring role of George "Kingfish" Stevens in the CBS TV's The Amos 'n' Andy Show. He proudly stated, "I've made it a point never to tell a joke on stage that I couldn't tell in front of my mother."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Seymour Hicks</span> British actor, playwright, and producer (1871–1949)

Sir Edward Seymour Hicks, better known as Seymour Hicks, was a British actor, music hall performer, playwright, actor-manager and producer. He became known, early in his career, for writing, starring in and producing Edwardian musical comedy, often together with his famous wife, Ellaline Terriss. His most famous acting role was that of Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Decima Moore</span> Singer and actress

Lilian Decima, Lady Moore-Guggisberg, CBE, better known by her stage name Decima Moore, was an English singer and actress, known for her performances in soprano roles with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company and in musical comedies. She was the youngest of ten siblings. Her sister, actress Eva Moore, was the mother of actress Jill Esmond, the first wife of Laurence Olivier.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Frederick Leister</span> English actor (1885-1970)

Frederick Leister, was an English actor. He began his career in musical comedy and after serving in the First World War he played character roles in modern West End plays and in classic drama. He appeared in more than 60 films between 1922 and 1961.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Philip Tonge</span>

Philip Asheton Tonge was an English actor. Born into a theatrical family, he was a child actor, making his stage debut at the age of five. Among the stars with whom he performed while he was a boy were Henry Irving, Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Ellen Terry and Johnston Forbes-Robertson. His colleagues as child actors included Hermione Gingold, Mary Glynne, Esmé Wynne-Tyson and Noël Coward.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joseph W. Herbert</span> American dramatist

Joseph William Herbert was a British-born American director, silent-film actor, singer and dramatist notable for being the first person to play Ko-Ko in America in a pirate production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado (1885) before joining D'Oyly Carte Opera Company touring companies across America (1885-1890).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shaun Glenville</span> Irish actor (1884–1968)

Shaun Glenville was an Irish actor who specialised in pantomime performances - he would play the dame while his wife Dorothy Ward would play the principal boy. The music hall historian Christopher Pulling called him one of the 'grand comedians of the music-halls'. He had a successful 62-year career and played in over 40 pantomimes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mary Moore (stage actress)</span>

Mary Charlotte Moore, Lady Wyndham, was an English actress and theatrical manager. She was known for her appearances in comedies alongside the actor-manager Charles Wyndham between 1885 and his retirement in 1913. Over these three decades they acted mainly in contemporary plays, many written for them by authors including Henry Arthur Jones and Hubert Henry Davies, but also appeared in classic comedies together. She continued to act on stage until 1919. She was married to the playwright James Albery from 1879 to 1889, and after his death her relationship with Wyndham eventually became romantic. After the death of Wyndham's estranged wife in 1916, he and Moore married.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cosmo Gordon-Lennox</span>

Cosmo Charles Gordon-Lennox, whose stage name was Cosmo Stuart, was a British actor and playwright of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. He became known as an actor in the 1890s, but by the turn of the century he had begun to concentrate on writing, usually under his real name. He specialised in adapting French comedies for the British stage, but also wrote original works, often as vehicles for his wife, the actress Marie Tempest.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cairns James</span> British actor, dancer and educator (1865–1946)

Lewis Cairns James was a Scottish-born baritone, actor, educator and opera producer most prominent during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. From 1887 to 1891 he performed with a D'Oyly Carte Opera Company touring company performing the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan before embarking on a successful career on the West End stage and as a teacher of elocution.


  1. "H.V. Esmond".
  2. League, The Broadway. "H. V. Esmond – Broadway Cast & Staff - IBDB".
  3. "ESMOND, Henry V." Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. p. 563.
  4. Joannou, Maroula. "Moore, Eva (1868–1955)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 30 January 2013
  5. "Death of Mr H. V. Esmond", The Times, 18 April 1922, p. 12
  6. Cimetières de France et d'ailleurs
  7. Kear, Lynn; King, James (31 July 2009). Evelyn Brent: The Life and Films of Hollywood's Lady Crook. McFarland. ISBN   9780786454686 via Google Books.