- (1856-1941)The Canadian-born actor ran away from home when he was 11 and went to sea. In his twenties, he joined his brother's theatre company in Montreal. He played heroic roles in the tradition of John McCullough. He joined the company of Fanny Davenport, whom he married in 1889. Amy Leslie wrote of him in Some Players (1901, 358): "Melbourne MacDowell is Fanny Davenport's greatest work of art. She took this stalwart Jovian animal, wild from the plains of Canada, lifted him to her own estate in the world of art, and imprinted upon his personality something of her own magnetism and exceptional power. He is to-day one of the handsomest, most forceful and influential actors on the stage. His voice is grown mellifluous and golden, his rash athletic gestures modulated to grace, and his splendid physique brought in from the lines of the giants." After Davenport's death, MacDowell costarred with Blanche Walsh for several seasons, followed by a stint in silent motion pictures.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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