CIBBER, Colley, English dramatist and actor: b. London, 6 Nov. 1671; d. there, 12 Dec. 1757. He was a son of C. G. Cibber (q.v.) and the sculptor's second wife, Jane Colley. He made his appearance at Drury Lane Theatre in 1689. In 1695 appeared his first comedy, 'Love's Last Shift,' which met with great success. In this piece he played the part of Novelty, a fash ionable fop. This character is found in most of his pieces and in the representation of it he was likewise distinguished. His dramatic celeb rity is founded chiefly on the 'Careless Hus band,' which even obtained the approbation of his declared enemy, Pope. This piece, though without novelty in the characters and without invention in the plot, is a good picture of the manners and follies of the time. His comedy, the 'Non-juror,' an imitation of Moliere's 'Tartufe,' adapted to English manners, ap peared in 1717 and was directed against the Jacobites. It was very successful, but drew
upon him many enemies, whose number he in creased by his conduct as director of Drury Lane Theatre, from 1711. His appointment as poet-laureate in 1730 gave full play to the rail lery of his enemies. Cibber had the good sense to join in the laugh against his own verses. Pope, however, did not cease to ridicule him on every opportunity. Besides writing original works for the stage, he adapted a number of others, Shakespeare's Richard III being one of those that have passed through his hands. In 1750 he quitted the theatre and published the 'Apology for the Life of Colley Cibber, writ ten with spirit and candor and containing many entertaining anecdotes and judicious remarks.