comic actor, comedy actor

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Senior Member
hi, guys,
When I looked up the dictionaries, I came across two noun phrases——'comic actor' and 'comedy actor'.
Do they have the same meaning?
  • Elwintee

    Senior Member
    England English
    No, they don't. It is quite complicated. The term 'comic actor' is hardly used these days. In the days of variety (that is, theatrical performances consisting of several different 'acts' including singers, actors of various kinds, jugglers etc) a comedian did what we now term 'stand-up comedy'. A comedy actor (a term not much used, I suggest) means an actor who specialises in acting in comedies. However, the much lamented Richard Briars, who was brilliant in comedy, should not be described as a comedy actor because he was very versatile and played quasi-tragic parts as well.
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