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Marriott Edgar Biography | Poet

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Marriott Edgar (1880-1951) born in Kirkcudbright, Scotland, was a poet, scriptwriter and comedian best known for writing many of the monologues performed by Stanley Holloway, particularly the 'Albert' series. In total he wrote 16 Stanley Holloway monologues, whilst Holloway himself wrote only 5.

His parents were Jennifer nee Taylor, a native of Dundee, and Richard Edgar Horatio Marriott, only son of Alice Marriott, proprietor of the Marriott family theatre troupe; Richard had two sisters, Grace, and Adeline Marriott.

Richard and Jenny married in March 1875, with Richard being unaware that he had fathered an illegitimate namesake son, Richard Edgar Horatio Wallace, with his "honorary sister", widowed actress Mrs Mary Jane "Polly" Richards, after a brief "Boris Becker in the broom closet" style sexual encounter when they were both extremely drunk at a back-stage party. Polly had invented an obligation in London to hide her pregnancy and give birth in secret. This son became the famous journalist, novelist, playwright and screenplay writer Edgar Wallace.

Edgar Marriott was five years younger than his elder paternal half-brother. He was a talented poet and writer in his own account, and excelled one he had joined up with Holloway. They went to Hollywood at the start of the 1930s, Edgar having transposed his surname and Christian name in his "professional" appelation of Marriott Edgar. His father had also acted under the name Richard Edgar. During the few months of 1931-1932, the two half-brothers Edgar Marriott and Edgar Wallace encountered each other in LA. Wallace had learned of his paternal semi-siblings' existence from his niece, Miss A Grace Donovan, who was the only child of his only maternal semi-sibling, Polly Richards' daughter, Mrs Josephine Catherine Richards Donovan (1868-1894). However, there is only evidence of him definitely meeting Edgar Marriott.

When Edgar Marriott wrote his most famous The Lion & Albert monologue, he named the lion Wallace in what is now generally recognised to be a fraternal in-joke nod to his brother. Marriott outlived Edgar Wallace by 19 years.

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