Located within the historic theatre district in midtown Manhattan, The Mansfield pays homage to the unforgettable performances of Richard Mansfield by bearing his illustrious name.
An English actor, Richard Mansfield (1857 - 1907) was best known for his portrayal of the dual roles of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and for his performance in various Shakespeare plays and Gilbert & Sullivan operas.
Born in Berlin in 1857, Mansfield spent a few years during his youth in American before returning to England at age twenty were he eventually gravitated towards the theatre. After finding initial success on London’s stage, Mansfield returned to America in 1882 and joined A.M Palmer’s Union Square theatre company in 1883. His received his big break as Baron Chevrial in A Parisian Romance. His portrayal of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde only a year after the publication of Stevenson’s masterpiece created a profound impression on the world-wide theatre community.
Mansfield continued his acting career and by 1886 started a career as a theatrical manager in America. Known for his lavish staging, Mansfield often starred in and directed his own plays on Broadway. At the turn of the century, Mansfield starred in King Henry V (1900) followed by a number of other Shakespearean works, including Julius Caesar (1902), The Merchant of Venice (1905) and Richard III (1905).
His portrayal of Shakespeare’s characters was beloved during his time. At the time of his death in 1907, The New York Times stated: "As an interpreter of Shakespeare, he had no living equal in his later days, as witnessed by the princely grace, the tragic force of his Richard, his thrilling acting in the tent scene of "Caesar", the soldierly dignity and eloquence of his Prince Hal, and the pathos of the prayer in that play. He was the greatest actor of his hour, and one of the greatest of all times."