Walter Hampden Overview:

Actor, Walter Hampden, was born Walter Hampden Dougherty on Jun 30, 1879 in Brooklyn, NY. Hampden died at the age of 75 on Jun 11, 1955 in Los Angeles, CA and was cremated and his ashes given to family or friend.

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Walter Hampden Quotes:

Linus Larrabee: After all, this is the 20th century, Father.
Oliver Larrabee: Twentieth century? Why, I could pick a century out of a hat, blindfolded, and come up with a better one.


Oliver Larrabee: All columnists should be beaten to a pulp and converted back into paper!


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Walter Hampden Facts
Brian Hooker's translation of Cyrano de Bergerac was prepared for Hampden. The next major English language translation was by Anthony Burgess, and was prepared for Christopher Plummer who, like Hampden, had previously played Hamlet. This translation has Cyrano make a reference to Hamlet, his list of insults to his own nose climaxing with "and finally, with tragic cries and sighs, in language finely wrought and deeply felt, 'Oh, that this too, too solid now would melt.'" This translation has since been performed by Derek Jacobi, Kenneth Branagh, and Kevin Kline, all of whom have also played Hamlet. Subsequent cinematic Cyrano Gérard Depardieu also appeared in Branagh's film Hamlet (1996).

Hampden owned and operated Hampden's Theatre on Broadway at 62nd St. after he bought the Colonial, a 20-year-old theater that had been used for vaudeville for practically its entire life span. Hampden and his company opened his theater on October 10, 1925 with "Hamlet." (It was the second time he had tackled the role; Ethel Barrymore, sister of his Shakespearian rival John Barrymore, the great American Hamlet of the 20th century, was his Ophelia.) Hampden staged 16 plays, in total, at the theater, including his great success "Cyrano de Bergerac," before closing the theater in March 1930 as The Great Depression began its oppression of the New York theater during the Thirties. In 1931, the Hampden became a movie house, the RKO Colonial Theatre. After returning to the Broadway fold as a legitimate house in 1974 (the Harkness Theatre), it was razed in 1977.

He coached Ronald Colman in the scenes from "Othello" that Colman played in A Double Life (1947).

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