- (1706 - 96) English comedian, who won fame playing clownroles in Shakespeare's plays. He began his career in a booth at London'sBartholomew Fair, where he played Pantaloon toNed Shuter's Harlequin. After becoming a member of Giffard'scompany at Goodman's Fields Theatre he moved on to play at CoventGarden and Drury Lane for many years. He created the role of Sir OliverSurface in the first production of Sheridan's The School for Scandal(1777). Yates's second wife was the actress Mary Ann Graham (1728 - 87),who played at Drury Lane from 1754 to 1785, becoming one of her era'smost respected tragic actresses.