Gillette, William


Gillette, William
(1853-1937)
   One of the major stage stars of the late 19th century, William Gillette, a native of Hartford, Connecticut, was the son of a U.S. senator and received his education at Yale University, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Fine Arts Institute before making his stage debut in Faint Heart Ne'er Won Fair Lady in 1875. He played secondary roles in several productions at the Boston Museum. He made his New York debut in George Densmore's The Gilded Age (1877). While Gillette toured in Bronson Howard's Young Mrs. Winthrop, he began to write plays as vehicles for himself, notably The Professor (1881) and Digby's Secretary (1884). His other early plays include Esmeralda (1881), which he adapted with Frances Hodgson Burnett, Held by the Enemy (1886), She (1887), All the Comforts of Home (1890), Mr. Wilkinson's Widows (1891), and Settled Out of Court (1892).
   Gillette's dual careers peaked with Too Much Johnson (1894), Secret Service (1896), and his major triumph in Sherlock Holmes (1899), a melodrama adapted from Arthur Conan Doyle's stories of the fictional Victorian detective. Gillette was admired as a more natural actor than many of his contemporaries, and in 1913 he published his lecture "The Illusion of the First Time in Acting." Gillette's later plays, including Clarice (1905) and Electricity (1910), were mildly successful, but after 1900 he was preferred in plays by others, including J. M. Barrie's The Admirable Crichton (1903) and Dear Brutus (1918). The exception was Sherlock Holmes, a character Gillette frequently performed on stage and in motion pictures (1916), reviving the play in New York for the last time in 1931 at the age of 76. Gillette is believed to have given over 1,300 performances in the part. Like many of his star contemporaries, Gillette was both blessed and cursed by finding that one iconic role.
   See also Doro, Marie.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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  • Gillette, William Hooker — ▪ American playwright and actor born July 24, 1853, Hartford, Conn., U.S. died April 29, 1937, Hartford  American playwright and actor noted for his portrayal of the title role in Sherlock Holmes, which he adapted for the stage from Sir Arthur… …   Universalium

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  • Gillette — may refer to: * Gillette (brand) (formerly The Gillette Company), safety razor manufacturer * Gillette Stadium * Gillette, New Jersey * Gillette, Wyoming * Gilette, Alpes Maritimes, France * Gillette Children s Specialty Healthcare, Minnesota… …   Wikipedia

  • William Lawrence Bottomley — William Lawrence Bottomley, born February 24, 1883 in New York, New York, was a noted architect in twentieth century New York, New York, Middleburg, Virginia and Richmond, Virginia. He is admired as one of the preeminent Colonial Revival… …   Wikipedia

  • William Gillette — William Hooker Gillette ( b. July 24, 1853, Hartford, Connecticut; d. April 29, 1937, Hartford, Connecticut) was an American actor, playwright and stage manager.Gillette was a major stage actor in the United States in the late nineteenth and… …   Wikipedia

  • William Gillette — als Sherlock Holmes William Hooker Gillette (* 24. Juli 1853 in Hartford, Connecticut; † 29. April 1937 ebenda) war ein US amerikanischer Schauspieler und Dramatiker. Werk 1899 schrieb …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gillette France — Gillette Company Pour les articles homonymes, voir Gillette. Logo de Gillette Company …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gillette — ist: der Markenname des Unternehmens The Gillette Company Orte in der Schweiz: Gillette VD, Ort in der Gemeinde Corcelles le Jorat, Kanton Waadt, Schweiz in den Vereinigten Staaten: Gillette (Arizona) Gillette (Florida) Gillette (New Jersey)… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gillette Castle State Park — is located in East Haddam, Connecticut in the United States. Sitting high above the Connecticut River, the castle was originally a private residence commissioned and designed by William Gillette, an American actor who is most famous for his… …   Wikipedia

  • William Buckingham — William Alfred Buckingham William Alfred Buckingham (* 28. Mai 1804 in Lebanon, Connecticut; † 2. Februar 1875 in Norwich, Connecticut) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker der Re …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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