Coleman's Fifty Years of an Actor's Life (1904)

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Coleman's Fifty Years of an Actor's Life (1904)


Actors and Actresses
Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


Two volumes


Hathi Trust


Coleman, John


Hutchinson & Co.





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In 1904, Coleman remembers the relationship between Charlotte Cushman and Macready that “[a]fter knocking about here, there, and everywhere, as an actress-of-all-work, she at length found her way to New York, where she was so fortunate as to attract the attention of Macready, who, under date of October 23rd, 1843, states in his diary, ‘The Miss Cushman who acted with me, interested me much. She has to learn her art, but she showed mind and sympathy,’ etc. So vivid was his interest that in the following May he wished her to act with him once more in New York, yet in the very same month he had to reprove her for her levity in the Banquet Scene of Macbeth. When, however, she promised amendment, he graciously forgave her. Soon afterwards she came to England to get the London hall-mark, but, as usual, every door was closed to the stranger. Edwin Forrest, who detested her, told me that Maddox, the Princess's manager, wearied of her persistent importunities, made some insolent remark about her personal appearance. Enraged beyond all bounds, she dropped upon her knees, invoking such awful maledictions on her insulter that the little Israelite, terrified out of his life, gasped out, ‘Take it back ! Take it back ! and I'll give you an engagement at once —I will, so help me !’ She did ‘take it back,’ and he gave her an engagement which formed the turning-point in her career.” (Coleman 299)


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Coleman, John, “Coleman's Fifty Years of an Actor's Life (1904),” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed June 25, 2024,

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