Thomas Betterton

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Betterton, Thomas

Betterton, Thomas (bĕtˈərtən), 1635?–1710, English actor and manager. He joined Sir William D'Avenant's company at Lincoln's Inn Fields theater in 1661 and became the leading actor of the Restoration stage, the theatrical leader of his time. In the role of Hamlet he was acknowledged as the greatest since Burbage. After D'Avenant's death (1668), he became the head of the company and moved to the Dorset Garden theater (1671), which he partially managed, and where he was especially successful in adaptations of Shakespeare by Dryden, Shadwell, Tate, and himself. Betterton managed the Drury Lane theater from 1682 until 1695, at which time he reopened a theater in Lincoln's Inn Fields, with Congreve's Love for Love as his first production. In 1705 he moved his company to the new Haymarket theater, built for them by Sir John Vanbrugh, where he made his last appearance in 1710. Sent to Paris by James II to study French technique, Betterton adopted new ideas in his theaters, especially in regard to scene design. His wife, Mary Saunderson Betterton, d. 1711, was the first woman to act Shakespeare's great female characters, most notably Lady Macbeth. Both are buried in Westminster Abbey.


See R. W. Lowe, Thomas Betterton (1891, repr. 1972); B. Marinacci, Leading Ladies (1961).

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References in classic literature ?
Annals of the English Stage, from Thomas Betterton to Edmund Kean.
Doran did his work well--did it with adequate "love." These Annals of the English Stage, from Thomas Betterton to Edmund [74] Kean, are full of the colours of life in their most emphatic and motley contrasts, as is natural in proportion as the stage itself concentrates and artificially intensifies the character and conditions of ordinary life.
On the other hand, the account of Betterton, "perhaps the greatest of English actors," is delightfully fresh.
Location manager Adam Betterton has assured residents that crews will be working between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday, with no overnight work planned.
From Mary Betterton to the young Nell Gwyn, de Angelis gives us a stark and realistic view of life behind the silk curtains and beautiful costumes as it would have been for actresses of the time.
Even Wilson allows a "possible exception" for Thomas Betterton whose abilities were extolled by all (598).
The camera closely follows seven teenage girls growing up in the Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn--two sisters, Ginger and Dusty, and their friends, who are neighbours of American husband-and-wife team Jenny Gage and Tom Betterton.
Rosemary Betterton argues: "The tension between repression and release is inscribed ...
--Eric Betterton, Benjamin Herman, Philip Krider, and James J.
Betterton - Tammy Lee Betterton, 55, of Eugene, died Aug.
Joseph's GP Dr Michael Betterton, of the Hillside practice, Skelton, said he'd been seen in February and was in "good health, with no particular concerns".