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:

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

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.

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Walter Hampden Facts
After the 1923 production of "Cyrano de Bergerac", Hampden brought his Cyrano back to Broadway four more times - in 1926, 1928, 1932 and 1936, though not always with the same actors playing the same roles.

He was the most famous "Cyrano de Bergerac" of his time, playing the role onstage from 1923 to 1936, when he permanently retired from playing it, except at a benefit performance in which he performed the final scene, and in which José Ferrer, the most famous 1940s-'50s Cyrano, also did a scene from the play. The classic Brian Hooker translation of the play, which has been used by every English and American Cyrano until recently, was made especially for Hampden. Active on stage from the early 1900s, he did not make his sound film debut until 1939. Hampden never played a leading role in films, as he nearly always did on stage and as he once did on television, but he headed the supporting cast in such films as the The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) and The Vagabond King (1956)--his last, and posthumously released, film. As a sort of "in-joke", it is Hampden who appears as the long-winded elderly stage actor who gives Anne Baxter her award statuette in the first scene of All About Eve (1950).

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).

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