Sothern family

Definition

Theater

  • The British - US actor Edward Askew Sothern (Douglas Stewart;1826 - 81), his son Edward Hugh Sothern (1859 - 1933), andEdward Hugh's wife Julia Marlowe (Sarah Frances Frost; 1866 - 1950).

    E. A. Sothern was born in Liverpool and acted inthe provinces before travelling to America, where he joined LesterWallack's company at Wallack's Theatre in New York (see Wallackfamily). His first success came in 1858, when he played LordDundreary in Tom Taylor's Our American Cousin, a triumph herepeated at London's Haymarket three years later (see dundrearies).It was during a performance of Our American Cousin by the samecompany that President Lincoln was assassinated (see Ford'sTheatre). Other noted successes included leading roles inTom Robertson's David Garrick (1864), which was written especiallyfor Sothern, Brother Sam (1865), which he co-wrote, and H.J. Byron's comedy A Crushed Tragedian (1878).

    E. H. Sothern made his debut in his father's playBrother Sam at the Park Theatre, New York. He was a light comedianlike his father but also played romantic leads. He made his Londondebut in 1881 and from 1885 to 1897 was leading man at the LyceumTheatre, New York. In 1900 Sothern played a spectacular Hamlet atthe Garden Theatre, New York, but the production was cancelled afterless than a week when he was stabbed in the foot during swordplayand contracted blood poisoning. In 1904 Sothern began to act withJulia Marlowe, whom he married in 1911. He frequently revived hisfather's famous role of Lord Dundreary and in 1916 played his rolein David Garrick. When his wife retired in 1924 they donatedthe scenery, costumes, and properties from 10 Shakespearean playsto the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-on-Avon. Sotherncontinued to act occasionally until 1927.

    Julia Marlowe appeared as a child in HMS Pinaforeand other productions, making her adult debut in 1887 in New Yorkin Mrs G. W. Lovell's Ingomar (1887). She excelled in Shakespeare(especially as Juliet and Lady Macbeth) and in classic comedy, starringas Lydia Languish in Sheridan's The Rivals. In 1897 the theatermanager Daniel Frohman wrote: "This is the greatest emotionalactress in America but it will be a heart-breaking task to find playsequal to her strength".

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