Fred Belford

Fred Belford



Fred Belford was born in December 1873 in Chipping Norton, England. He was the son of a goldsmith and had an older brother and sister. He was a talented actor from an early age, appearing in amateur theatricals, such as The Rivals and She Stoops to Conquer, while still a schoolboy.

At the age of 17, Fred Belford joined the touring company of Edward Terry, appearing in revivals of Shakespeare as well as in comic operas and farces. Belford also made his debut in London, appearing in the Terry Company's production of The Second Mrs. Tanqueray at the Comedy Theatre in 1895.

Belford's career flourished in the early 1900s. He was a regular at Terry's Theatre Royal Haymarket and the Royal Court Theatre, and appeared in a wide variety of roles. He was particularly noted for his light comedy parts in plays like Charley's Aunt and The Man Who Stayed at Home. He also appeared in the first London production of J. M. Barrie's The Admirable Crichton in 1902.

In 1912, Belford joined the cast of the hit musical The Quaker Girl in a role that would become one of his best-known: the mild-mannered butler, Mr. Jellicoe. He toured with the show until it closed in 1916, although he was also appearing in other productions during this time.

Belford continued to appear on the stage throughout the 1920s, appearing in musicals like Oh, Kay! and The Beauty Prize. He also made a few appearances in Hollywood films, such as The Cat and the Canary, The Adventures of Tartu, and King of Jazz.

By the end of the decade, Fred Belford had retired from the stage. He died in Los Angeles in October 1931 at the age of 57. He was survived by his wife and two children.

Fred Belford was a reliable character actor who made a career out of playing likable, if somewhat ordinary, characters. His presence was often a welcome one in any production and he left an indelible mark on the London and Hollywood stages of the early 20th century.

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