Wyndham, Mary (1861–1931)

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Wyndham, Mary (1861–1931)

English actress and co-founder of Wyndham's Theaters . Born Mary Moore in London, England, on July 3, 1861; died on April 6, 1931; daughter of Charles Moore; attended Warwick Hall, Maida Vale; married James Albery (a playwright), in 1878 (died 1889); married Sir Charles Wyndham, in 1916 (died 1919); children: (first marriage) son Bronson.

Mary Wyndham was born in London, England, in 1861. Her first stage appearance was at the Gaiety Theater, under the direction of John Hollingshead. She retired from acting in 1878 upon marrying playwright James Albery, with whom she would have one son Bronson before Albery's death in 1889. In 1885, Mary joined Sir Charles Wyndham's company, appearing as Lady Dorothy in The Candidate in the Theater Royal, Bradford. Charles also managed the Criterion, and Mary acted there in 1885 as well. Wyndham, whose claim to fame was playing silly yet attractive women, appeared in command performances at Windsor Castle for King Edward VII in both 1903 and 1907. At one time, she was president of the Actors' Benevolent Fund.

Mary partnered with Sir Charles in the Criterion, beginning in 1897, and together they built Wyndham's Theater in 1899, on Charing Cross Road in London. They opened with David Gar-rick, a proven success for the two performers, and later partnered to build the New Theater. Although they had an established professional relationship, they were not married until 1916. When Charles died in 1919, Mary maintained her positions as co-proprietor of Wyndham's Theater and the New Theater and co-lessee of the Criterion in conjunction with Sir Charles' executors. When Lady Mary Wyndham died in 1931, the theater continued under the management of her son Bronson Albery and Howard Wyndham, the son of Sir Charles by a previous marriage.

Richard Wasowski , freelance writer, Mansfield, Ohio