W. Louis Bradfield

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W. Louis Bradfield
Mr Louis Bradfield.png
W. Louis Bradfield, ca. 1910
BornWalter Louis Bradfield
(1866-06-13)13 June 1866
London, England
Died12 August 1919(1919-08-12) (aged 53)
Brighton, Sussex, England
OccupationActor and singer
Years active1889 – 1918
Spouse(s)Jessie B. Best

Walter Louis Bradfield (1866–1919), was an English actor and singer.


The son of William Bradfield, a civil servant, Bradfield was born on 13 June 1866, educated at the Grocers' School, Hackney, and first appeared on stage in 1889 in a pantomime at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham.[1] In 1888, before taking up the theatrical life, he had married Jessie B. Best.[2]

Bradfield's notable roles include playing the leading man, Captain Coddington, in the Broadway production of the musical comedy In Town, which opened in New York in 1897, in which Bradfield played a hard-up army officer who takes all the actresses of the Ambiguity Theatre out to lunch and marries one of them.[3][4]

His other stage engagements in leading roles, most of them in London's West End, included A Gaiety Girl (1893–1894), as Bobbie Rivers;[3] The Geisha (1896), as Dick Cunningham;[5] The Girl from Kays (1902–1903), as Harry Gordon; The Little Michus (1905–1906); and The Merveilleuses (1906–1907), as Lagorille, the Incroyable.

On 4 September 1905 Bradfield played in a one-day cricket match at Lord's, representing 'The Actors' against 'The Jockeys'. He scored six runs and was bowled by Chaloner.[6]

In 1908 The Actors' Birthday Book said of Bradfield -

"A right merry operatic jester is W. Louis Bradfield, and the London public is so enamored of his comicalities that he is never allowed to stay very far from the British capital... first becoming a London favorite in 1893, appearing at the Gaiety in "The Gaiety Girl" and "In Town".[7]

He died at Brighton on 12 August 1919.[8][9]


"Mr Louis Bradfield", postcard ca. 1909
  1. ^ 'Bradfield, W. Louis, actor' in Who's who in the theatre (1914)
  2. ^ John Parker, 'Bradfield, W. Louis, actor' in The Green Room Book; or, Who's Who on the Stage vol. 4 (1909), p. 60: "Bradfield, W. Louis, actor; b. London, June 13th, 1866; s. of William Bradfield, civil servant; e. at Grocers' School; m. Jessie B. Best, 1888; first appeared at Theatre Royal, Nottingham, 1889, in pantomime..."
  3. ^ a b Gerald Martin Bordman, American Musical Theatre (2001) p. 175
  4. ^ Munsey's Magazine, vol. 22 (1900), p. 145: "Mr. Louis Bradfield, undeniably clever artist as he is, as was shown on his visit to America two years ago with "In Town"..."
  5. ^ Stanley Green, Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre (1980), p. 146
  6. ^ Actors v. Jockeys scorecard for 4 September 1905 at cricketarchive.com, accessed 28 January 2012
  7. ^ Johnson Briscoe, 'June 13 W. Louis Bradfield' in The Actors' Birthday Book, 2d series: an authoritative insight into the lives of the men and women of the stage born between January first and December thirty-first (1908), p. 141
  8. ^ John Parker, Who's Who in the Theatre (1967), p. 1596: "Bradfield, W. Louis, Actor and Vocalist, died 12 Aug., 1919".
  9. ^ Walter Louis Bradfield at cricketarchive.com, accessed 28 July 2012