ham actor

Definition

Theater

  • An inferior actor, especially one who overacts (hence the phraseto ham it up). There are a number of suggested origins: the useof ham fat to remove theatrical make-up in the 19th century; a popularUS minstrel song, 'The Ham-Fat Man', about a third-rate actor; a certainHamish McCullough (1835 - 1885) who toured with his company, known as 'Ham's actors', in Illinois; and the claim of every indifferent actor to have performed the role of Hamlet in better days.

Idiom of “ham actor”

awkward and unrehearsed actor, often enthusiastic in spite of his natural limitations
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