Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DE BAR, Benedict, actor, born in London, England, 5 November 1812; died in St. Louis, Missouri, 14 August 1877. He made his debut at the Theatre Royal, Margate, England, in 1832, and crone to the United States in 1834, appearing the following year at the St. Charles theatre, New Orleans, as Sir Benjamin Backbite inthe "School for Scandal" In 1837 he opened the old National theatre in New York City, and in 1838 played at the old St. Louis theatre, afterward appearing in various cities of the west. In 1840 he played successively in New York and London, and in the same year returned to New York, where he played at the Bowery theatre, In 1842 he became stage manager for Hamblin at the Bowery, in 1849 purchased the Chatham theatre, New York, retaining it for three years, and afterward went on a four years' starring tour, playing in the principal cities of the United States. In 1853 he became proprietor of the St. Charles theatre, New Orleans, and in 1855 of the St. Louis theatre, leasing it in 1873, when he bought a large interest in the Grand opera house of that City. After the death of Hackett the dramatic stage lacked a great Falstaff until Mr. De Bar undertook its representation, making a specialty of this character, which others had adopted and soon relinquished. His appearance in Brooklyn in this character, after his success in the west and south, was a dramatic event of note. He acquired a large fortune, being successful both as an actor and manager.
His wife, Florence, born in Philadelphia in 1828, made her debut in 1839 as a danseuse at the Walnut Street theatre, Philadelphia. Her maiden name was Vallee. She traveled with Fanny Ellsler, and at the old Park theatre in 1848 played the "French Spy." She retired from the stage in New Orleans in December 1857.
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