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John Philip Kemble

(1757-1823), Actor

Sitter associated with 41 portraits
Actor, theatre manager and playwright, John Philip Kemble was the oldest son of Roger Kemble, who managed a touring theatre company. He followed his sister Sarah Siddons to Drury Lane, where he first appeared as Hamlet in 1783. He played a wide range of characters and excelled in Shakespearian tragedy, often appearing opposite Siddons. Between 1788 and 1796 he was also actor-manager at Drury Lane under Richard Brinsley Sheridan until he and Siddons defected to Covent Garden Theatre where he became manager and part-owner. He wrote a number of plays and had a deep knowledge of drama and stagecraft. He retired in 1817 after playing the title role in Coriolanus.


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