Edward Duke (Edward Hare Duke)
BiographySussex, England, UK
Edward Duke was educated at British private schools, Balcombe Place and Stonyhurst College. His expulsion from Stonyhurst was in the tradition of other luminaries Charles Laughton and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. When his father was posted in Japan as a cultural diplomat, Duke studied Kabuki Theatre, which became his biggest influence. Before embarking on the usual rounds of regional Theatre, Duke trained at the Arts Educational School of London. In the West End, he was also seen in Why Not Stay for Breakfast? Peg of My Heart (as Alaric), and Filumena (directed by Franco Zeffirelli). Read more... Theatre voted Edward Duke "Most Promising Newcomer" for his conception and adaptation of "Jeeves Takes Charge" by P.G. Wodehouse. His one-man Jeeves show opened at London's Fortune Theatre in September of 1980, and subsequently played in Canada, Australia, and Taiwan. In the U.S. his show played in Cleveland, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and ran two seasons in New York, where he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. His proudest moment came when he was invited to perform the play privately for Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother - who is an avid Wodehouse fan. While at the height of his powers he was stricken with AIDS, which he referred to as his "dreaded inconvenience." His parents predeceased him and a sister and three brothers survived him. The theatre lost a clever, bright, young talent a few months before his fortieth birthday. Thankfully he left behind the memory of full houses laughing at his brilliant comedic performances. His legacy lives on in audio book versions of two Wodehouse plays.