Kelcey, Herbert


Kelcey, Herbert
(1856-1917)
   Born Herbert Henry Lamb in London, England, the actor made his London debut in 1880, and was brought to America in 1882 by Henry Wallack* to appear in Taken from Life. He played a number of roles at Wallack's and at Madison Square Theatre before joining Daniel Frohman's company at the Lyceum in 1887; he was leading man for that company until 1897. His first star billing came in 1898 when he performed in The Moth and the Flame with Effie Shannon, whom he married. An interesting assessment of Kelcey appears in Kansas City Star critic Austin Latchaw's retrospective (10 May 1935): "Kelcey rather 'stood out from the crowd,' as we say. It was not because of genius or any superlative art. But he had his qualifications, real and superficial. He was almost too handsome for words. He was a faultless dresser. Indeed, one might have gained the impression that the first law of his being was clothes. He had a leisurely manner. He acted as if he had just drifted into the profession because of having nothing else to do. Yet he could get away with rough characters, too, and so demonstrated in a few instances."

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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