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Shakespearean Actor William Devlin Dies at 75

January 27, 1987

LONDON (AP) _ William Devlin, a Shakespearean actor who thrilled audiences in 1934 with his portrayal of King Lear when he was only 22, has died, newspaper obituaries said Tuesday. He was 75.

Devlin was one of the youngest actors ever to undertake a major portrayal of Lear, considered the most difficult of Shakespeare’s heroic characters.

″His understanding of the text and his sense of beauty are everywhere apparent,″ critic James Agate wrote of Devlin’s performance at London’s Westminster Theater.

Devlin won further acclaim with his portrayal of Peer Gynt and in historical roles. In 1936, he played French leader Georges Clemenceau in ″The Tiger,″ the first play to be televised by the British Broadcasting Corp.

Apart from a role in the 1950 Walt Disney version of ″Treasure Island,″ Devlin never pursued a movie career.

Devlin came into an inheritance and retired in 1957 to live the life of a minor country squire. He was married twice and leaves a daughter. The obituaries did not list cause of death.

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