Eric Lewis

Actor + Comedian + Singer
Born Oct 23, 1855

Frederic Lewis Tuffley, better known by his stage name, Eric Lewis, was an English comedian, actor and singer. In a career spanning five decades, he starred in numerous comedies and in a few musical comedy hits, but he is probably best remembered today as the understudy to George Grossmith in the Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas of the 1880s who left the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company just in time to give Henry Lytton his big break.… Read More

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1855 Birth Born in 1855.


1879 24 Years Old He appeared at St. James's Hall in Brighton in October 1879 with Arthur Law and his wife Fanny Holland.
1880 25 Years Old By 1880, Lewis had begun presenting comic musical sketches at the Royal Polytechnic Institution and St. George's Hall, where he sometimes took the place of the comedian Corney Grain.
1881 26 Years Old In 1881, he made his London stage debut in Herbert Beerbohm Tree's company at the Haymarket Theatre as Pilate Pump in Blue and Buff.
In 1882, he joined the touring Alice Barth Opera Company, playing a number of roles with them.


1885 30 Years Old So long, according to Lewis's colleague Rutland Barrington, that at the end of the piece one night, when Lewis, who played the angler, shouted out his joyful "I've caught it!" a voice from the gallery responded, "About time, too!" In June 1885, Lewis played together with Barrington in an afternoon "musical dialogue," Mad to Act, with words by Barrington and music by Wilfred Bendall, at the Japanese Village in Knightsbridge.
Frustrated by his position as understudy to an actor who had hardly ever taken ill in four years, Lewis resigned from the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in January 1887. … Read More
1888 33 Years Old In July 1888, he starred in another comedietta, entitled Caught Out, by Florence Bright at St George's Hall In September of that year, he helped open the relocated New Court Theatre with a play by Sydney Grundy called Mamma, starring Mrs. John Wood and also featuring Arthur Cecil.
1889 34 Years Old In January 1889, he starred in The Begum's Diamonds by J. P. Hurst at the Avenue Theatre. … Read More
1892 37 Years Old In 1892, he starred in A. G. Bagot's comedy The Widow at the Comedy Theatre. … Read More


1896 41 Years Old In 1896, he was in F. C. Burnand's Mrs Ponderbury at the Court Theatre with Mrs. John Wood, Charles Hawtrey and Brandon Thomas. … Read More
1897 42 Years Old In 1897, he received praise in another long-running musical role in A French Maid. … Read More
1899 44 Years Old In 1899, Lewis was back at the Court theatre in another Carton comedy, Wheels within Wheels. … Read More


1905 - 1907 3 More Events
1908 53 Years Old In 1908, he continued to receive praise, starring in The Admirable Crichton at the Duke of York's Theatre and again as a judge in Lady Epping's Lawsuit at the Criterion. 1909 opened with Lewis and Tempest in Penelope by Somerset Maugham at the Comedy Theatre. … Read More
1911 56 Years Old In 1911, he played in Lady Patricia by Rudolf Bessier at the Haymarket and Lady Windermere's Fan (together with Marion Terry) at the St. James's.
1913 58 Years Old The next year, Lewis appeared in Charles Brookfield's Dear Old Charlie at the Prince of Wales's Theatre and Mrs. Dane's Defence, by Henry Arthur Jones, at the New Theatre, In 1913, Lewis starred in H. V. Esmond's Eliza comes to Stay at the Criterion. … Read More


1915 - 1919 3 More Events
1920 65 Years Old In 1920, he was back in a musical comedy, The Little Whopper by George Grossmith, Jr. at the Shaftesbury Theatre. … Read More
1921 66 Years Old In 1921, he was seen in The Trump Card by Arthur Wimperis at the Strand Theatre. … Read More
1923 68 Years Old In 1923, he played in another farce, Three's a Crowd, by Earl Derr Biggers at the Court and Frederick Lonsdale's Aren't We All? at the Globe Theatre.
1924 69 Years Old In 1924 Lewis appeared in Kate at the Kingsway Theatre, together with Nellie Briercliffe, and starred in The Other Mr. Gibbs, by Will Evans and Guy Reeves, at the Garrick.
1925 70 Years Old Lewis continued to perform until 1925, appearing in the films Brown Sugar (1922) as the Earl of Knightsbridge, and as Sir Anthony Fenwick in The Happy Ending (1925), which starred Fay Compton and Jack Buchanan. … Read More
1935 80 Years Old Lewis died in Margate, Kent, in 1935 at the age of 79.
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