English-born Herbert Kelsey was a versatile and handsome leading man imported by Lester Wallack in 1882 to anchor his Lyceum Theatre Company in New York. Kelsey became the era's "competent" actor - attractive, dependable, versatile in the range of his impersonations, yet never arresting, brilliant, or capable of profound tragedy. His forte was drawing room and domestic dramas.
Under the management of Charles Frohman he shared leads with his wife, Effie Shannon, performing much of the modern repertoire for the next 30 years. The the couple became a fixture on the theater circuits of America after the turn of the century touring in "After the Ball" and "The Thief." He slipped entirely from the memory of the theatre after his death, relegated to that limbo of inattention that the merely competent are often consigned to. David S. Shields/ALS