Charles Alexander Calvert was born in 1828 in London, and died in 1879.
His professional debut as an actor was in 1852 at Weymouth, following which he played successfully at various theatres round the country before establishing himself in leading roles at the Surrey Theatre with Shepherd and Creswick. In 1859 he joined John Knowles's company at the Theatre Royal, Manchester, as leading man and stage manager. In 1864 he moved to Manchester's new Prince's Theatre as manager.
It was here that he acquired his considerable reputation as one of the leading provincial actor-managers, famed for his acting and his lavish sets and production values.