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Roy Redgrave (1873–1922)

from Sydney Morning Herald

Roy Redgrave, by Johnstone O'Shannessy &​ Falk, 1906

Roy Redgrave, by Johnstone O'Shannessy &​ Falk, 1906

State Library of Victoria, 49218545

Roy [George Ellsworthy] Redgrave, who passed away at the Sacred Heart Hospice, Darlinghurst, on Thursday last, was an actor of brilliant powers, who in some years past had got out of touch with his admirers owing to the necessity of filling minor roles through ill-health and advancing years. The one great hit of his career was an old Sergeant Flambeau in "L'Aiglon," with Miss Tittell Brune as the youthful prince. This was in the original production here of Rostand's poetic drama some 17 years ago. The actor's pathos was all the more touching by reason of his clever suggestion of "that untutored voice through which rough accents of the people throb", and the whole charactertisation, which he repented with Kathleen Macdonell many years later was a masterpiece. Redgrave, with his tall and graceful figure, was also excellent as Mercutio but the greater part of his career was in melodrama. He was especially effective in 1905 as old Kleschna to Miss Brune's "Leah Kleschna" at which period he may be said to have reached the height of his career.

After that he returned to England for several years and played lead in melodrama under the dramatist and manager Walter Melville, afterwards lessee of the London Lyceum. During this time he played John Storm in "The Christian" for 14 months, including the Coronet and other suburban playhouses. After his return to Australia one of his striking characters was as the hunchback Prince Michael in "The Prince and the Beggar Maid" at the Criterion. His portraiture of the aristocratic hussar with the stamp of suffering on his face, and his grief that the beautiful page of human love had been torn out of the book of his life, was remarkable for the refinement of its sentiment.

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Citation details

'Redgrave, Roy (1873–1922)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 31 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Roy Redgrave, by Johnstone O'Shannessy &​ Falk, 1906

Roy Redgrave, by Johnstone O'Shannessy &​ Falk, 1906

State Library of Victoria, 49218545

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Redgrave, George Ellsworthy

26 April, 1873
London, Middlesex, England


25 May, 1922 (aged 49)
Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.