1-19 of 19 results  for:

  • theater director x
Clear all

Article

Blackmer, Sidney (13 July 1895–05 October 1973), actor, director, and producer, was born Sidney Alderman Blackmer in Salisbury, North Carolina, the son of Walter Steele Blackmer, a businessman, and Clara De Roulhac Alderman. He graduated from high school in 1908 and for the next three years studied liberal arts at academies in Warrentown, North Carolina, and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. In 1913 he enrolled at the University of North Carolina to study law, made the varsity football team, and became a star fullback. By summer his priorities changed, and he left for a sabbatical in Europe....

Article

Brooke, J. Clifford (1873?–28 December 1951), actor and director, was born in England; his parents’ names are unknown. He began his career as an actor in London with Cyril Maude in The Second in Command (Nov. 1900) at the Haymarket Theatre. In the early years of the twentieth century he crossed the Atlantic and began his career in the United States doing walk-ons, then small roles. Eventually, in 1915, he distinguished himself on Broadway and in the touring company playing the title role in ...

Article

Brown, Gilmor (16 June 1886–10 January 1960), actor, director, and theater manager, was born George Gilmor Brown on a ranch and farm twelve miles outside New Salem, North Dakota, the son of Orville A. Brown and Emma Louise Gilmor. The seeds of Brown’s very active and fertile imagination seem to have been rooted in the loneliness and rural isolation of his early childhood. When he was six, however, the family moved to Denver, Colorado, where Brown began formal schooling and finally could socialize. There he became interested in theater. His father, who had wanted to become an actor but was not permitted to by his family, sometimes took him to vaudeville shows. When Brown was about eight, his mother encouraged and assisted him in forming his own theatrical company of neighborhood children dubbed the Tuxedo Stock Company. They performed their own plays, mostly tragedies and melodramas written by Brown. Brown worked with the troupe into his early teenage years. Despite his youth and lack of any theatrical training, his dedication and skill as a director impressed many, including Denver journalists. His efforts also attracted the attention of the pastor of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, who encouraged his interest in drama and invited Brown to participate in a summer camp in the Colorado Rockies. Brown founded a theater at the camp, staging Greek tragedies and classical drama outdoors in a magnificent alpine setting. Brown and others continued to mount such alfresco productions in the years that followed....

Article

Browne, Maurice (12 February 1881–21 January 1955), actor, director, and producer, was born in Reading, England, the son of Frederick Herbert Browne, a distinguished teacher, and Francis-Anna “Marsie” Neligan, the founder of a number of successful private schools. Educated at the private schools of Ipswich, Temple Grove, and Winchester, Browne later attended Eastbourne College and received his B.A. from Cambridge University....

Article

Coburn, Charles Douville (19 June 1877–30 August 1961), theatrical actor, manager, and director and film character actor, was born in Macon, Georgia, the son of Moses Douville Coburn and Emma Louise Sprigman. The family moved to Savannah, Georgia, when Charles was nine months old. An avid playgoer at the age of fourteen, Coburn was mistaken by the manager for a program boy as he stood in front of the Savannah Theatre, and he was ordered back to work inside; by the time he was seventeen he was managing the theater. Two years later he moved to New York City to pursue an acting career, surviving by wrapping bundles, ushering, and once by working as a six-day bicycle racer. His first acting job, in the 1898–1899 season, was with a Chicago company of ...

Article

Da Silva, Howard (04 May 1909–16 February 1986), actor, director, and playwright, was born Howard Silverblatt in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Benjamin Silverblatt, a dress cutter, and Bertha Sohon. The family later moved to New York City and then to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Da Silva completed his education with a year at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (1927–1928), supporting himself by working in the city’s steel mills. He then hitchhiked to New York and became an apprentice in the Civic Repertory Company for a year’s study. His debut as an actor in the company’s 1929 production of ...

Article

Gordone, Charles (12 October 1925–16 November 1995), playwright and actor-director, was born Charles Edward Fleming in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Charles Fleming and Camille Morgan Fleming. His stepfather was William Gordon. The boy never knew his biological father and often referred to himself as “part Indian, part Irish, part French, and part Nigger.” With the birth of Charles, the family moved to the mother's hometown, Elkhart, Indiana, where young Charles went to school. Shirley Gordon Jackson, the older of his two sisters, recalled that the family then moved out of the “colored” part of town and crossed the railroad tracks to the white side of Elkhart's “Mason-Dixon line.” All of Charles's school friends were white. He was a straight-A student, “doing everything right,” winning honors in dramatics, music, writing, and debate. He also received sixteen letters in sports and set a school record in the high jump....

Article

Houseman, John (22 September 1902–31 October 1988), producer, director, and actor, was born Jacques Haussmann in Bucharest, Romania, the son of Georges Haussmann, a Jewish-Alsatian grain merchant, and May Davies, a British woman of Welsh and Irish descent. As a small child Houseman spoke English to his mother, French to his father, German to his governess, and Romanian to the household staff. When Houseman was five years old, the grain business run by his father’s family went bankrupt, and he moved with his parents to Paris, where his father became a broker in commodities. At age seven Houseman was sent to the Clifton School in Bristol, England. Summer vacations and holidays were spent with his parents in France. His father died in 1917. After completing his studies at Clifton in December 1920, Houseman lived for a year in Argentina, working on a cattle ranch and as a clerk at the Dutch Bank of South America. Returning to England, he turned down a scholarship to Cambridge University in order to help support his mother and became an apprentice at an international grain brokerage in London....

Article

Lindsay, Howard (29 March 1889–11 February 1968), playwright, actor, and director, was born Herman Nelke in Waterford, New York, the son of Herman Siegmund Nelke, a salesman, natural healer, masseur, and newspaperman, and Susan Hall. When Herman Nelke’s job hopping and stories of fantastic exploits exhausted the patience of his no-nonsense wife, she divorced him. Taking her four children and her mother, she moved to Atlantic City, New Jersey, where she worked as a typesetter on her brother’s newspaper. Young Howard exhibited his father’s dramatic flair and his mother’s industry by selling newspapers and giving recitations on the boardwalk. His uncle passed on free tickets from theatrical advance men, and after seeing a melodrama when he was ten, Lindsay announced his ambition to be an actor....

Article

Logan, Joshua (05 October 1908–12 July 1988), director, producer, playwright, lyricist, and actor, was born Joshua Lockwood Logan in Texarkana, Texas. His lumberman father, Joshua Lockwood Logan, Sr., died when Logan was only three years old. He was raised in Louisiana by his mother, Susan Nabors, and stepfather, Howard F. Noble, an officer on the staff of the Culver Military Academy, where Logan attended school. Logan began his theatrical career in 1928 as a student at Princeton University, where he was a founder of the University Players, a summer stock group that performed on Cape Cod and that also included ...

Article

Losey, Joseph (14 January 1909–22 June 1984), stage and film director, was born Joseph Walton Losey III in La Crosse, Wisconsin, the son of Joseph Walton Losey, Jr., a minor railway executive, and Ina Higbee. Losey attended Dartmouth College from 1925 to 1929 and was active with the Dartmouth Players; he graduated with a bachelor’s degree. He then attended Harvard University, where he earned a master’s degree in English literature in 1930. After his Harvard graduation, he tried a number of jobs, among them reviewing plays for ...

Article

Ludlam, Charles (12 April 1943–28 May 1987), playwright, director, actor, and artistic director, was born in Floral Park, New York, the son of Joseph William Ludlam, a plasterer, and Marjorie Braun. Although Ludlams had been among the earliest settlers of Long Island, Charles’s family lived modestly in a working-class neighborhood, across the street from a movie theater. There Charles and his mother saw two feature films each week. These, the puppet show that he wandered into at the Mineola fair, and television’s “Kukla, Fran and Ollie” all influenced six-year-old Ludlam to create his own puppet shows and to enlist neighborhood children to stage his first scripts. After appearing in plays at school and apprenticing to the Red Barn Theater in 1958, a trip to Manhattan to see productions by the Living Theatre prompted him to found, with Christopher Scott, the Students Repertory Theatre in Northport, an enterprise that he had to close when he enrolled at Hofstra University in 1961. He studied acting, directing, playwriting, and dramatic literature—but specialized, even then, in hyperbole—and in 1965 took his B.A. and his mastery of theater history and its craft to Manhattan, where he finally enjoyed an opportunity to fully explore without impediment his homosexuality....

Article

Macgowan, Kenneth (30 November 1888–27 April 1963), drama critic, director/producer, and theater educator, was born in Winthrop, Massachusetts, the son of Peter Stainforth Macgowan and Susan Arletta Hall. Before he graduated from Harvard in 1911 he was already working as an assistant drama critic for the ...

Article

Mamoulian, Rouben (08 October 1898–04 December 1987), stage and film director, was born in Tiflis (now Tbilisi) in the Russian province of Georgia, the son of Zachary Mamoulian, a military officer and bank director, and Virginia Kalantarian, an actress and president of the Armenian theater in Tiflis. Mamoulian’s Armenian parents benefited from the largess of his mother’s wealthy family and spent a few years in Paris during his boyhood. While studying criminal law at Moscow University, the young Mamoulian became involved in the Moscow Art Theater under Evgeny Vakhtangov, an early associate of Stanislavsky. He left Russia in 1920 following the revolution, joining his sister and parents in London. There he became active in the theater, directing a play with a Russian setting titled ...

Article

Meredith, Burgess (16 November 1907–09 September 1997), actor and director, was born Oliver Burgess Meredith in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of William George Meredith, a physician, and Ida Beth Burgess Meredith, a Methodist minister's daughter. He called his childhood “grim and incoherent” because his father was a quarrelsome alcoholic. Meredith was a boy soprano in the choir of New York City's Cathedral of St. John the Divine and a four-year scholarship student in its school. He played the lead in its production of J. M. Barrie's ...

Image

Burgess Meredith. Far left, as Ernie Pyle in the 1945 movie The Story of G. I. Joe. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-113320).

Article

Minnelli, Vincente (28 February 1910–25 July 1986), film and stage director, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of actors Vincent Charles Minnelli and Mina Gennell. He acted as a child, most particularly in the Minnelli Brothers’ Dramatic Tent Show between 1913 and 1918. Educated at the Art Institute of Chicago during the mid-1920s, Minnelli worked for a time as a billboard painter and a window dresser for the Marshall Field department store in Chicago....

Article

Nugent, Elliott (20 September 1897?–09 August 1980), actor, director, and playwright, was born in Dover, Ohio, the son of John Charles “J. C.” Nugent, an actor and playwright, and Grace Fertig, an actress. Some sources indicate he was born in 1899. Nugent’s early childhood was spent primarily at the home of his maternal grandfather in Dover, but he often accompanied his parents on vaudeville tours, occasionally performing as “Master Elliott, the Boy Monologist,” and later, in an act with his sister, as “Master Elliott and Baby Ruth.” When Nugent was thirteen years old his mother retired from show business and returned with her children to Dover. After graduating from Dover High School in 1915, Nugent, an excellent student and athlete, attended Ohio State University, where he began a lifelong friendship with classmate ...

Article

Woolley, Monty (17 August 1888–06 May 1963), stage and screen actor and director, was born Edgar Montillion Woolley in the Bristol Hotel in New York City, the son of William Edgar Woolley, a Saratoga Springs, New York, hotel owner, and Jessie Arms. In his father’s hotel, the celebrated and exclusive Grand Union, he met some of the most famous theatrical artists of the day, including ...