Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Adams, Edwin

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ADAMS, Edwin, actor, b. in Medlord, Mass., 3 Feb., 1834; d. in Philadelphia, 35 Oct., 1877. He made his début 39 Aug , 1853, at the National theatre in Boston, acting Stephen in "The Hunchback." In November he appeared at the Howard athenæum as Bernardo in "Hamlet," and thence he went to Philadelphia, where he appeared, 20 Sept., 1854, as Charles Woodley in "The Soldier's Daughter." He played also at the St. Charles theatre, Baltimore, where he achieved his first great success. About 1860 he appeared in Bufi'alo as Hamlet, and subsequently with Miss Kate Bateman and Mr. J. W. Wallack at the Winter Garden in New York; and afterward in all the principal cities in the United States as a star. In 1866 he returned to New York, and in Wallack's old theatre, the Broadway, played Robert Landry in the "Dead Heart," and Adrian de Teligny in the "Heretic." At the opening of Booth's theatre, 3 Feb., 1867, he appeared as Mercutio, and shortly afterward enacted Narcisse, lago, Raphael, Rover, Claude Melnotte, and Enoch Arden, this last character becoming a great favorite. He appeared with Edwin Booth during the season of 1869-'70 in several of Shakespeare's plays, then visited Australia, where his health failed, and, returning to San Francisco, received a generous benefit, 27 May, 1876, followed by others in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and elsewhere. He possessed a voice of wonderful richness, strength, and melody, and was regarded as one of the best light comedians on the stage. His wife, a clever actress and graceful danseuse, retired from the stage several years ago.