Monday, August 9, 2010
AS SEEN IN:
AS PLAYED BY:
Edwin Thomas Booth (November 13, 1833 – June 7, 1893) was a famous 19th century American actor. He was born near Bel Air, Maryland into the English American theatrical Booth family. Booth toured throughout America and to the major capitals of Europe, performing Shakespeare; in 1869 he founded Booth's Theatre in New York, a spectacular theatre that was quite modern for its time. Some theatre historians consider him the greatest American actor and Hamlet of the 19th century.
After Lincoln's assassination in April 1865, the infamy associated with the Booth name forced Booth to abandon the stage for many months, a period dramatized in the 1955 Richard Burton movie Prince of Players, which was adapted from the biography of the same name by Eleanor Ruggles (ISBN 0-8371-6529-6). Edwin, who had been feuding with his brother for a period before Lincoln's assassination, disowned him afterward, refusing to have John's name spoken in his house.
He made his return to the stage at the Winter Garden Theatre in January 1866, playing the title role in Hamlet. Hamlet would eventually become Booth's signature role.
In 1867, a fire damaged the Winter Garden Theatre, resulting in the building's subsequent demolition.
After the fire at the Winter Garden Theatre, Booth built his own theatre, an elaborate structure called Booth's Theatre in Manhattan, which opened on February 3, 1869 with a production of Romeo and Juliet starring Booth as Romeo, and Mary McVicker as Juliet. Elaborate productions in Booth's Theatre followed, but the theatre never became a profitable or even stable financial venture. The panic of 1873 caused the final bankruptcy of Booth's Theatre in 1874. After the bankruptcy, Booth went on another worldwide tour, eventually regaining his fortune.
It was during this world tour, when he was on the American West leg of the journey, that he began his hunt of John F. Parker, as seen in 'Branded'.....