Goodwin, Nat C.
- (1857-1919)Born Nathaniel Carl Goodwin in Boston, he attended school at the Little Blue Academy in Farmington, Maine, where he acted in school dramatics. This led to an acting career, beginning with the role of a shoeshine boy in manager John B. Stetson's production of Law in New York (1874) at Boston's Howard Atheneum. Goodwin worked in vaudeville for Tony Pastor in 1875 and starred in E. E. Rice's musicals for a few seasons before setting up his own comedy troupe, the Froliques, where he was applauded for his imitations of famous actors and for his eccentric comedic style. Goodwin was successful in a series of light comedies, including The Skating Rink (1885), Little Jack Sheppard (1886), Turned Up (1886), and Lend Me Five Shillings (1887), but he had his greatest hit in A Gilded Fool (1892). He gradually added dramatic roles to his repertoire, including the role of Sheriff Jim Radburn in Augustus Thomas's In Mizzoura (1893). He failed in several attempts at Shakespeare, including Shy-lock in The Merchant of Venice (1901) and Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1903), but found great successes opposite his wife, actress Maxine Elliott, in Nathan Hale (1899) and When We Were Twenty-One (1900). He continued to act until shortly before his death, scoring one final hit as Uncle Everett in Jesse Lynch Williams's Pulitzer PRiZE-winning comedy Why Marry? (1917).
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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