In 1888, Richard Mansfield played Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in a stage production at a time when Jack the Ripper was murdering women. A theatre-goer wrote to the police accusing him of the murders because his stage transformation from a gentleman to mad killer was so convincing.

Richard Mansfield

For the cricketer, see Richard Mansfield (cricketer).

Richard Mansfield

Richard Mansfield (24 May 1857 – 30 August 1907) was an English actor-manager best known for his performances in Shakespeare plays, Gilbert and Sullivan operas, and the play Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Life and career

Mansfield was born in Berlin and spent his early childhood on Heligoland, Germany, an island in the North Sea, then under British rule. His parents were Erminia Rudersdorff (1822–1882), a Russian-born operatic soprano, and Maurice Mansfield (died 1861), a British London-based wine merchant. His grandfather was the violinist Joseph Rudersdorff. Mansfield was educated at Derby School, in Derby, England, where he studied painting in London. His m… Continue Reading (5 minute read)

13 thoughts on “In 1888, Richard Mansfield played Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in a stage production at a time when Jack the Ripper was murdering women. A theatre-goer wrote to the police accusing him of the murders because his stage transformation from a gentleman to mad killer was so convincing.”

  1. dano159

    Man – He is killing people!!!… With his fantastic performances

    Police – Stop calling here

  2. isthenameofauser

    That sounds like a publicity stunt.

  3. JoeBethersonton50504

    Technically we don’t know he wasn’t Jack the Ripper…

  4. DevonMG

    He then went on to replace Ian McKellen as Magneto.

  5. StuffedInABoxx

    The greatest compliment a thespian could ever receive

  6. jtrisn1

    It’s a shame time travel isn’t real. I would love for a chance to see these historical or ancient actors perform. The style they used and the way theater worked in general.

  7. AztecWheels

    There is no higher praise than being accused of being a bot. Kudos to this dude for his acting chops.

  8. xm202virus

    (as Jon Lovitz) Act-ing!

  9. Talonqr

    “Yes hello 911, I think Michael Mando might be a killer….well you see he played this dude named Vaas in a video game…..oop call lost connection I guess”

  10. lemonsquooze

    This was a big part of the late 80s Michael Caine mini series.

  11. YouWantALime

    It used to be that actors were considered some of the lowest people in society because they were so convincing on stage that people believed they couldn’t be trusted. The opposite of how we treat them now.

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