About Edward O'Connor Terry
Edward O'Connor Terry (1844–1912), English actor, was born in London, allegedly the illegitimate son of Feargus O'Connor, Irish Chartist leader and advocate of the land plan. He began his stage career in a small and struggling way in the provinces before later coming to national attention as one of the most influential actors and comedians of the day.
Between 1868 and 1875 he was the leading comedian at the Strand theatre, London, but it was not till he joined Hollingshead's company at the Gaiety in 1876 that he became a public favourite in the burlesques produced there during the next eight years. With Nellie Farren, Kate Vaughan and Royce, he made the fortune of this house, his eccentric acting and singing creating a style which had many imitators.
In 1887 he went into management, opening Terry's theatre built on the site of the old Coal Hole Public House and music hall on the Strand. It was here that his production of Pinero's Sweet Lavender was a great success. But in subsequent years he was only occasionally seen at his own theatre, and made many tours in the provinces and in Australia, America and South Africa. Off the stage he was well known as an ardent Freemason, and an indefatigable member of the councils of many charities and of public bodies.