Sir Donald Wolfit
Oil on canvas
King Lear : King Lear
Bequeathed to the Garrick Club by the late Lady Rosalind Wolfit, 1991
943 ( with Crown worn by Wolfit as Lear, see M0030)
See M0030 for Sir Donald Wolfit's King Lear Crown
Sir Donald Wolfit played Lear when he introduced it to his company's autumn tour of Shakespearean repertoire in 1942. In 1943-47, he played Lear with Rosalind Iden (later Lady Wolfit) as Cordelia at the St James's, New Vic and Savoy Theatres in London. This portrait is very similar to the striking series of photographs taken by Angus McBean of Sir Donald as Lear and which can be found illustrated in Ronald Harwood, "Sir Donald Wolfit C.B.E. His Life and Work in the Unfashionable Theatre." Secker & Warburg, London 1971.
There is a letter from R W Gick to Wolfit in the Wolfit archive at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Centre, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas USA. Gick is writing to congratulate Wolfit on his knighthood in 1957. The letterhead is marked "R W Gick, Dental Surgeon."