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Sir George Alexander (George Samson)

(1858-1918), Actor and theatre manager

Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 54 portraits
The son of a Scottish manufacturer, he made his acting debut at Nottingham and after some seasons in the provinces, he made his first London appearance as Caleb Deecie in Two Roses in 1881 at the Lyceum. In 1891, he took over management of the St James' Theatre. That year, Oscar Wilde arranged for Alexander to produce and act in the first production of Lady Windermere's Fan. Alexander went on to produce many other plays. These included a number that were highly successful, including Wilde's The Importance of being Earnest and A.W. Pinero's Second Mrs Tanqueray. Henry James's famously disastrous production of Guy Domville was produced at the St James' Theatre in 1895.

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