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Guthrie, Tyrone (02 July 1900–15 May 1971), theater director and producer, was born William Tyrone Guthrie in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, the son of Thomas Clement Guthrie, a socially conscious physician and surgeon of Scottish descent, and Norah Power Guthrie, who had Protestant Irish forebears. Thomas Guthrie was the namesake of his grandfather, a noted nineteenth-century preacher and philanthropist; Norah Guthrie was a granddaughter of a famous nineteenth-century comedian named Tyrone Power, whose great-grandson of the same name became a Hollywood film star in the 1940s. Tyrone Guthrie was educated at Wellington College in Berkshire and at St. John's College, Oxford....

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Hart, Moss (24 October 1904–20 December 1961), playwright and stage director, was born in New York City, the son of Barnet Hart, a tobacconist, and Lillian Solomon. Hart claimed that he “grew up in an atmosphere of unrelieved poverty with … the grim smell of actual want always at the end of my nose.” As a teenager, he worked as an office boy for the theatrical road producer Augustus Pitou in Manhattan. Under a pseudonym, in 1923 Hart wrote a play called, variously, ...

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Kaufman, George S. (16 November 1889–02 June 1961), playwright and stage director, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph Kaufman, a small-businessman, and Henrietta Myers. Raised in a middle-class Jewish family, Kaufman attended public schools and immersed himself in plays and books—particularly those by ...

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Le Gallienne, Eva (11 January 1899–03 June 1991), actor, director, and translator, was born in London, England, the daughter of Julie Norregaard, a Danish journalist, and Richard Le Gallienne, an English poet. Her parents separated when she was four, and Eva was raised by her mother and schooled in Paris and London. Her feminist mother, who had been influenced by literary critic Georg Brandes and playwright Henrik Ibsen, gave her daughter an aesthetic education and taught her independence. By the time she was seven, Eva knew Paris, London, and Copenhagen and read and spoke French, English, and Danish. After seeing Sarah Bernhardt perform and then meeting her, Eva decided to dedicate her life to the theater....

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Meredith, Burgess (16 November 1907–09 September 1997), actor and director, was born Oliver Burgess Meredith in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of William George Meredith, a physician, and Ida Beth Burgess Meredith, a Methodist minister's daughter. He called his childhood “grim and incoherent” because his father was a quarrelsome alcoholic. Meredith was a boy soprano in the choir of New York City's Cathedral of St. John the Divine and a four-year scholarship student in its school. He played the lead in its production of J. M. Barrie's ...

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Miller, Henry (01 February 1859–09 April 1926), actor, manager, and director, was born John Henry Miller in London, England, the son of John Miller, a railroad contractor, and Sophia Newton. In 1873 the family relocated to Toronto, Canada, where Miller spent his adolescent years. Infected from an early age with the theatrical virus, the young Henry studied elocution in Toronto with the American actor ...

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Quintero, José (15 October 1924–26 February 1999), theatrical director and teacher, was born José Quintero Palmorala in Panama City, Panama, one of the four children of Carlos Rivera Quintero, a businessman and politician, and Consuelo Palmorala de Quintero. After local schooling, in 1943 Quintero entered Los Angeles City College, a two-year school noted for its theater program. Quintero drank in the plays that toured to Los Angeles and transferred to the University of Southern California as a theater major, graduating in 1948. In 1948 he attended the Goodman Theatre and Dramatic School in Chicago and in 1949 moved to New York....