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David Garrick (1717-1779), Actor, playwright and theatre manager

Sitter associated with 56 portraits
David Garrick was born in Hereford but, like Dr Johnson, grew up in Lichfield. When Johnson opened his ill-fated school in 1735, Garrick was one of the few pupils, and the two men travelled to London together in March 1737. Garrick first acted on the London stage in 1741 and quickly became one of the most successful figures in British theatre. He was acclaimed for his naturalistic style of acting and his versatility, performing in both comic and tragic roles. Both as an actor and as manager of Drury Lane Theatre, he changed the face of theatrical performance. Throughout his life, he and Johnson remained friends although, at times, Johnson disliked Garrick's vanity and 'buffoonery'.