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Booth, Edwin Thomas (13 November 1833–07 June 1893), actor and theatrical manager, was born near Bel Air, Maryland, the son of Junius Brutus Booth, an actor, and Mary Ann Holmes. Edwin’s formal education ended at age thirteen, when he began to accompany his father on theatrical tours. The elder Booth, a brilliant actor but an alcoholic, attempted to discourage his children from entering the theatrical profession (he advised Edwin to become a cabinetmaker), but Edwin gained an invaluable theatrical education while accompanying his father. Although Edwin had appeared at age fourteen on a Baltimore stage, he considered his first real performance to be in 1849 as Tressel in ...

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Burton, William Evans (24 September 1802–10 February 1860), actor and editor, was born in London, England, the son of William George Burton, a printer (maiden name unknown). Hoping his child would become a clergyman, the elder Burton enrolled him at St. Paul’s School, but at the age of eighteen Burton had to withdraw and take charge of his family’s printing business when his father died....

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Frohman, Daniel (22 August 1851–26 December 1940), producer and theater manager, was born in Sandusky, Ohio, the son of Henry Frohman, an itinerant peddler, and Barbara Straus. His father, an immigrant from Darmstead, Germany, and a cigar maker, sold his wares by traveling from town to town with his horse and buggy. An amateur actor, Henry Frohman joined the Little German Theatrical Company in Sandusky, exposing Daniel and his brothers Gustave and ...

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Hamblin, Thomas Sowerby (14 May 1800–08 January 1853), actor and theater manager, was born in London, England. After a schoolboy performance of the role of Hamlet enticed him away from a business career, Hamblin’s first professional theatrical engagement was at the Adelphi Theatre in London as a ballet dancer before 1815. Between 1815 and 1823 Hamblin gained prominence playing a variety of roles at numerous theaters, including Sadler’s Wells and Drury Lane, as well as theaters in Bath, Brighton, Dublin, and Sheffield. During this period he married Elizabeth Blanchard, a well-known actress and the daughter of eminent London actor and playwright E. L. Blanchard....

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Langner, Lawrence (30 May 1890–26 December 1962), patent agent, playwright, and theatrical producer, was born in Swansea, South Wales, the son of Baruch Bernard Freedman, a businessman, and Cecilia Sarah Langner. (He took his mother’s maiden name.) He attended private schools in Swansea and in Margate, England. After a brief stint as a clerk for a theatrical manager in 1903, he was apprenticed to Wallace Cranston Fairweather, a chartered patent agent in London. Langner passed examinations of the British Chartered Institute of Patent Agents in 1910....

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Miller, Henry (01 February 1859–09 April 1926), actor, manager, and director, was born John Henry Miller in London, England, the son of John Miller, a railroad contractor, and Sophia Newton. In 1873 the family relocated to Toronto, Canada, where Miller spent his adolescent years. Infected from an early age with the theatrical virus, the young Henry studied elocution in Toronto with the American actor ...

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Skinner, Otis (28 June 1858–04 January 1942), actor-manager, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Charles Augustus Skinner, a Universalist minister, and Cornelia Bartholomew. His adolescent years were spent in Hartford, Connecticut, where he did poorly in school and left at age sixteen to become a warehouse clerk and editor of a free weekly paper. The defining event in his early life was a visit to a New York City theater to see ...