Ann Street Barry

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Ann Street Barry (1733 – 29 November 1801), was a singer, dancer and stage actress in the 18th century.

Barry was born in Bath, England, to an apothecary named James Street. Her brother, William Street, later became the Mayor of Bath. She began her acting career with her first husband, William Dancer, with her first known performance in 1758 as Cordelia in King Lear.[1] Lear was played by Spranger Barry in the same play and the two began an affair. Barry's then-husband William Dancer died in 1759, allowing the couple to continue their relationship and later marry in 1768.

In 1759 she appeared in Dublin,[2][3] where she played a number of leading roles to limited success. At some point during the following nine years, she moved to London with Spranger Barry and performed at Drury Lane. Her performances at Drury Lane were well received and raised her reputation as an actress.

Barry left Drury Lane for Covent Garden, where she continued to perform with her second husband. After his death, she remained at Covent Garden and later remarried, first billed under her new married name of Mrs Crawford in 1778.[4] Her last known appearance was as Lady Randolph in John Home's Douglas in 1798. Her portrayal of Lady Randolph and Desdemona were credited as her greatest roles, with one contemporary actress (Sarah Siddons) writing a letter in which she describes her fear of Barry's skill.[5]

Barry was buried in Westminster Abbey following her death in 1801.


  1. ^ Highfill, Philip H. (2006). A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers & Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800: 004 (Corye to Dynion). Southern Illinois University Press. pp. 136–138. ISBN 978-0809306930. 
  2. ^ Greene, John C. (2011). Theatre in Dublin, 1745-1820: a Calendar of Performances. Lehigh University Press. p. 595. ISBN 978-1611461084. 
  3. ^ Genest, John (1832). Some Account of the English Stage: From the Restoration in 1660 to 1830. H. E. Carrington. p. 474. 
  4. ^ Rosenfeld, Sybil Marion (1939). Strolling Players & Drama in the Provinces, 1660-1765. CUP Archive. p. 145. 
  5. ^ "Spranger Barry". Retrieved 29 December 2013.