Edwin Thomas Booth


Edwin Thomas Booth Famous memorial

Bel Air, Harford County, Maryland, USA
Death 7 Jun 1893 (aged 59)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Plot Anemone Path, Lot 3281
Memorial ID 110 View Source

Actor. He received world-wide notoriety as an American Shakespearean performer of the 19th century. During his over forty-year career, he toured the United States and the major capital cities throughout the world. He was the first American to perform Shakespeare for the British Crown in a command performance of "Hamlet" for Queen Victoria. Playing the role of “Hamlet” in 100 performances from November 26, 1864 to March 22, 1865, he excelled in this role. He first performed in London in 1861 followed by tours in 1880 and 1882, with a tour of Germany on the last European visit. On September 10, 1849, he made his stage debut at the Boston Museum in the part of Tressel to his father's role of “Richard III.” At the age of eighteen in New York City, he replaced his father, when his father would not perform, in the role of Richard III. He toured California with his father, and after his father's death, he toured with Laura Keene to the Hawaiian Islands and Australia before his first important career-making performances in Boston and New York City in 1857. Besides his father's acting talent, he inherited a quick temperament and alcohol abuse, which impacted his career and his personal life. With his wife Mary's death in 1863, he stopped drinking alcohol at that point as he was too inebriated to travel to her bedside while she was dying and calling for him. He remarried in 1869. He was also a poor business man and was bankrupt by the age of forty, but he did recuperate after hiring a business manager. Born Edwin Thomas Booth, he was one of ten children of Junius Booth, the chief rival of Edmund Kean on the English stage, and the next older brother of John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated United States President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865 at Ford's Theater. That evening, Laura Keene, who was performing on stage at Ford's Theater, identified John Booth. He did not perform for months after the tragedy and never fully recovered. During the American Civil War, he saved the life of Robert Lincoln, President Lincoln's son at a train station in Chicago. Booth pulled the young Union Army officer back onto the train platform from which he had fallen before an oncoming train rushed through. On November 25, 1864 he and his brothers, Junius Brutus and John, performed together for one single time in roles in “Julius Caesar.” In 1888 he was the founder of The Player's Club, a men's club in New York City for actors and other artistic men. Toward the end of his life, this was his home. From 1889 to 1890, he performed on stage with the beautiful Polish-American actress, Helena Modjeska. His last performance was in 1891 at the Academy of Music in Brooklyn. His grave marker has his facial image on a metal relief that has a beautiful greenish patina.

Bio by: Linda Davis

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 110
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Edwin Thomas Booth (13 Nov 1833–7 Jun 1893), Find a Grave Memorial ID 110, citing Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .