Hampden, Walter hăm´dən [key], 1879–1955, American actor, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., whose original name was Walter Hampden Dougherty. He made his first appearance in London in 1901. Returning to the United States in 1907, he supported Nazimova in an Ibsen series and later appeared in Kennedy's Servant in the House and in Shakespearean drama. In 1923 he was first seen as Cyrano de Bergerac, a role that he often repeated. After assuming management of the Colonial Theatre, he renamed it Hampden's and appeared there (1925–30) with his own company. A revered figure of the American theater, Hampden was president of the Players' Club for 27 years.
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