(1717-1779) English actor and theater manager. From 1747 he became joint licensee of the Drury Lane Theatre with his own company, and instituted a number of significant theatrical conventions including concealed stage lighting and banishing spectators from the stage. He played Shakespearean characters such as Richard III, King Lear, Hamlet, and Benedick, and collaborated with George Colman (1732–1794) in writing the play The Clandestine Marriage 1766. He retired from the stage 1766, but continued as a manager.
He was a pupil of Samuel Johnson.