William Kempe  

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William Kempe (died 1603), also spelled Kemp, was an English actor and dancer specializing in comic roles and best known for having been one of the original players in early dramas by William Shakespeare. Roles associated with his name may include the great comic creation, Falstaff, and his contemporaries considered him the successor to the great clown of the previous generation Richard Tarlton.

Kempe's success and influence was such that in December 1598 he was one of a core of five actor-shareholders in the Lord Chamberlain's Men alongside Shakespeare and Richard Burbage, but in a short time (possibly after a disagreement among the members of the troupe) he parted company with the group. Despite his fame as a performer and subsequent intent to continue his career, he appears to have died unregarded and in penury in around 1603.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "William Kempe" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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