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Last Updated: Friday August 05 2005 14:06 GMT

Who was Shakespeare?

Many people believe William Shakespeare is the best playwright ever. As well as writing plays, he was also an actor and poet.

But what do we know about the man?

He was born in Stratford upon Avon in 1564.

The date traditionally given for his birth is April 23; perhaps because this is St George's Day, perhaps because he also died on that date.

His mum, Mary Arden, was a farmer's daughter and his dad, John Shakespeare, was a farmer turned glove-maker. In 1582, he married Anne Hathaway.

He had three children - a daughter Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. Sadly, Hamnet died when he was just 11-years-old.

Shakespeare moved to London, where he lived for 25 years. He wrote most of his plays here.

He died at his home in Stratford on April 23, 1616 - his 52nd birthday.

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