Frederick Grinham Keen
11 October 1858
|Died||3 May 1933 (aged 74)|
|Resting place||Golders Green Crematorium|
Frederick Kerr (born Frederick Grinham Keen, 11 October 1858 – 3 May 1933) was an English actor who appeared on stage in both London and New York and in British and American films; he also worked as a major theatrical manager in London.
Frederick Kerr was born Frederick Grinham Keen on 11 October 1858 in London, the elder son of Grinham Keen, a solicitor. He was educated at Charterhouse School and Caius College, Cambridge. After graduating from Cambridge in 1880, he enrolled at the Inner Temple with the intention of becoming a barrister, but left shortly afterwards to pursue a career as an actor.
He went to New York City in 1880 and worked as a sketch artist, when sheer chance turned him into an actor. He was living in a boarding house on 7th Avenue, where a number of theatrical people also lived, among them Henry Miller, who eventually became his manager. Osmond Tearle, an actor living there, heard from his own producer that an Englishman was needed for a production of The School for Scandal. Tearle recruited Frederick, who got the part in January 1882 (which is also likely the moment he took the stage surname of "Kerr"). He appeared in several more plays in New York City that year, but left for Britain to appear in a London play in December 1882, after which he joined the company at the Royal Court Theatre managed by John Clayton and Arthur Cecil. Over the next fifty years, he travelled back and forth across the Atlantic several times for theatrical work both in New York City and in London.
Kerr became actor-manager of the Vaudeville Theatre in London in 1895 and later managed the Royal Court Theatre. He starred in Public Opinion at Wyndham's Theatre in 1905 and also as the titular pirate in George Bernard Shaw's Captain Brassbound's Conversion at the Court Theatre in 1906.
|1916||The Real Thing at Last||Murdered||Short|
|1918||Victory and Peace||Sir Richard Arkwright|
|1930||The Lady of Scandal||Lord Trench|
|1930||Raffles||Lord Harry Melrose|
|1930||The Devil to Pay!||Lord Leland|
|1931||Born to Love||Lord Ponsonby|
|1931||Always Goodbye||Sir George Boomer|
|1931||Waterloo Bridge||Major Wetherby|
|1931||Friends and Lovers||General Thomas Armstrong|
|1931||Honor of the Family||Paul Barony|
|1932||Beauty and the Boss||Count Von Tolheim|
|1932||But the Flesh Is Weak||Duke of Hampshire|
|1932||The Midshipmaid||Sir Percy Newbiggin|
|1933||Lord of the Manor||Sir Henry Bovey|
|1933||The Man from Toronto||Bunston||(final film role)|
Personal life and death
- "FRED—THE KERRS—GEOFFREY" New York Times Drama/Music/Fashion/Screen, November 7, 1920, page 88 (available online at the New York Times archive
- Harris, Frank; Gallagher, John F. (1991). My Life and Loves. Grove Press. p. 815.
- Lowndes, Marie Belloc; Lowndes, Susan (1971). Diaries and Letters of Marie Belloc Lowndes, 1911–1947. Chatto & Windus.
- Shaw, Bernard; Wells, H. G (1995). Laurence, Dan H. (ed.). Selected Correspondence of Bernard Shaw. Smith, J. Percy. University of Toronto Press. p. 41.
- Kerr, Frederick (1930). Recollections of a Defective Memory. T. Butterworth. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
- Frederick Kerr on IMDb
- Frederick Kerr at the Internet Broadway Database
- Frederick Kerr at Find a Grave