- McCullough, John
- (1832-1885)The Irish-born actor came to the United States at 15, learned his craft by performing with amateur companies, and made his professional debut on 15 August 1857 at the Arch Street Theatre in Philadelphia. During the 1860s, he toured as second lead to Edwin Forrest. He then entered management, running a San Francisco theatre in partnership with Lawrence Barrett. McCullough's last decade was spent touring as a star in historical melodramas and Shakespeare. He was physically imposing and handsome, with a grand heroic style that was already seen as old-fashioned in the 1880s, when he suffered periods of mental instability. The respect felt for McCullough by his fellow players is touchingly evoked in Footlights and Spotlights (1924) by Otis Skinner, who called "Genial John" one of the "finest spirits" he ever met, and in Fifty Years of Make-Believe (1920) by Frederick Warde, who praised McCullough as "an honor to the profession that he so conspicuously adorned."
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.