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Edwin Forrest as Richard III at the American Academy of Music, 1861

Edwin Forrest as Richard III at the American Academy of Music, 1861

American tragic actor, born in Philadelphia, made his New York debut in Othello in 1826.

Known for his athleticism and charisma, Edwin Forrest was the first actor born in the United States to win theatrical fame. Among his Shakespearean roles, Forrest was best known for Lear, but also played Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard III, Coriolanus, and Shylock. Forrest’s rivalry with British actor William Macready led to a deadly 1849 riot sparked by their different portrayals of Macbeth. Forrest also hit the headlines at other times for his political activism and vast wealth.

Link to the source of the information: Folger Shakespeare Library, Shakespeare in American Life -http://www.shakespeareinamericanlife.org/stage/onstage/yesterday/starringroles/forrest.cfm

Image Source: Circulating Collection, Print and Picture Collection, Free Library of Philadelphia. Subject: "King Richard III" – Shakespeare.

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