Derwent, Clarence

Clarence DerwentClarence Derwent (23 March 1884 – 6 August 1959) was an English actor, director, and manager. He was president of the Actors’ Equity Association for seven years.

He was educated at St Paul’s School, London and the Birkbeck Institute. He joined Sir Frank Benson’s stage company, with whom he stayed for five years. He then joined Annie Horniman’s repertory company in Manchester. He was seen in a great variety of roles, both in London and New York.

Derwent was elected to The Lambs in 1925.

From 1946 to 1952 Derwent was president of Actors’ Equity. His will stipulated that two $500 prizes were to be given out annually to the best individual male and female supporting performances on Broadway and a £100 prize to the best supporting performances in the West End. So that Derwent could have the gratification of seeing the awards given out, they were started in America in 1945 and in the UK in 1948. The prizes in the U.S. are now $2,000 and comes with an engraved crystal trophy.

He made his last appearance on stage in 1948 in The Madwoman of Chaillot. He died in New York at the age of 75 on 6 August 1959.