Spranger Barry

Spranger Barry

Spranger Barry (November 23, 1719 – January 10, 1777), British actor, was born in Dublin, the son of a silversmith, to whose business he was brought up. His first appearance on the stage was at the Theatre Royal, Smock Alley on the February 5, 1744, and his engagement at once increased its prosperity. His first London appearance was made in 1746 as Othello at Drury Lane. Here his talents were speedily recognized, and in "Hamlet" and "Macbeth" he alternated with David Garrick, arousing the latter's jealousy by his success as Romeo. This resulted in his leaving Drury Lane for Covent Garden in 1750, accompanied by Mrs Cibber, his Juliet. Both houses now at once put on "Romeo and Juliet" for a series of rival performances, and Barry's impersonation was preferred by the critics to Garrick's.

In 1758 Barry built the Crow Street theatre, Dublin, and later a new theatre in Cork, but he was not successful as a manager and returned to London to play at the Haymarket Theatre, then under the management of Foote. As his second wife, he married in 1768 the actress Mrs Dancer (1734-1801), and he and Mrs Barry played under Garrick's management, Barry appearing in 1767, after ten years absence from the stage, in "Othello", his greatest part. In 1774 they both moved to Covent Garden, where Barry remained until his death.



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