Sothern, Edward H.

Distinguished late 19th-early 20th century American Shakespearean actor noted for dashing, romantic leads

Price: $25.00

Description:
(1859-1933) American actor who specialized in dashing, romantic leading roles particularly in Shakespeare’s plays. Born the son of English actor E. A. Sothern in New Orleans, educated in England. His brothers and sister all became actors. His 1st professional acting appearance was in 1879, and debuted in London in 1881. In 1883, he returned to the US and toured. In 1885, he was hired by Charles & Daniel Frohman in the stock company of the old Lyceum Theatre in New York, where he starred as a leading man for the next 12 years. He was especially known for his heroic portrayal of Rudolph Rassendyl in the 1st stage adaptation of “The Prisoner of Zenda”, which he first played in 1895, and which made him a star. In 1896, he married actress Virginia Harned. After he left the Lyceum, he continued in romantic roles in New York. For several years, he dreamed of mounting a spectacular and precise production of “Hamlet”. He finally opened the play in New York in 1900, but during the first week, he was stabbed in the foot by Laertes' sword and was stricken with blood poisoning, closing the production. In 1904, he began an extremely successful partnership with actress Julia Marlowe, beginning with their appearances as the title roles in “Romeo and Juliet”, Beatrice and Benedick in “Much Ado About Nothing”, and the leads in “Hamlet”. They toured all over the US, adding “The Taming of the Shrew”, “The Merchant of Venice” and “Twelfth Night” to their repertoire in 1905. Unhappy with their compensation from their manager, Charles Frohman, they continued under the management of the Shubert Brothers, from then on receiving a percentage of the profits. By 1906, he and Marlowe were known as the premier Shakespearean actors in their day, Sothern particularly admired as Benedick and Malvolio. After another season in New York and then on tour, Sothern, Marlowe and their company played London. Unable to attract audiences in England, however, they returned to America after a season where they presented Shakespeare at affordable prices at the Academy of Music in New York, allowing audiences to see the performances who had not previously been able to afford their productions. At the end of 1909, Sothern and Marlowe played “Antony and Cleopatra” at the New Theatre in New York under the direction of Louis Calvert. In 1910 they toured in “Macbeth”, receiving enthusiastic notices and bringing the production to New York, where it was a hit. Sothern divorced Harned to marry Marlowe in 1911. Sothern appeared in several early films, including “The Chattel” (1916) and “The Man of Mystery” (1917). After more touring with Marlowe in Shakespeare, theybrought their “The Merchant of Venice” to New York in 1921. Marlowe’s health was failing, and she retired in 1924. In 1928, he began to lecture about Shakespeare on successful speaking tours, continuing until his death in 1933. SP, grey toned seated portrait of Sothern in a large chair, 6 ¾ x 4 ½ Windeath of Chicago cabinet photo signed “Yr EH Sothern 1899” on image at top.

Condition: Very good, slight wear at corners, tiny pin hole at top center
Type:Photograph






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