Joseph Coyne

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Coyne with Gertie Millar in The Dancing Mistress (1912)

Joseph Coyne (27 March 1867 – 17 February 1941), sometimes billed as Joe Coyne, was an American-born singer and actor, known for his appearances in leading roles in Edwardian musical comedy in London.

Life and career[edit]

Coyne was born in New York and made his stage debut there at Niblo's Garden when he was 16. He appeared for some years in Vaudeville, as part of a double-act, and moved to the legitimate theatre, joining the Rose Lyall Dramatic Company.[1]

In 1901, Coyne made his first appearance on the London stage, playing opposite Edna May in The Girl from Up There.[1] After that engagement, he returned to the U.S. until 1906, when he made his second West End appearance. In 1907, he made a great success as Danilo in the original London production of The Merry Widow, which he followed with a succession of romantic leading roles including Conder in The Dollar Princess (1909), Tony in The Quaker Girl (1910), Teddy in The Dancing Mistress (1912) and Sandy in The Girl from Utah (1913).[1]

After the First World War, Coyle played Robert Street in Going Up (1918), Jimmy Smith in No, No, Nanette (1925) and T. Boggs John in Queen High (1926).[1] Among his leading ladies, The Times listed Edna May, Gertie Millar, Lily Elsie, Constance Collier, Gertrude Lawrence and Binnie Hale.[1] One critic wrote of him that, like other stars of musical comedy including Millar, "It is no good their pretending to be any one else. We go to see themselves, and all we ask is that the authors and others shall give them every chance of being themselves in the most pronounced and personal fashion".[2]

Coyne's last appearance was in Apron Strings at the Vaudeville Theatre in 1931, in the role of Ezra Hunniwell. He settled in Virginia Water, near Windsor,[3] where he died of pneumonia, aged 73.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Obituary", The Times, 21 February 1941, p. 7
  2. ^ "Royal Adelphi Theatre", The Times, 7 November 1910, p. 16
  3. ^ "Deaths", The Times, 28 February 1942, p. 6