Edwin Adams (actor)

Edwin Adams (February 3, 1834 – October 28, 1877)[1] was an American stage actor, considered to have been one of America's best light comedians.

Edwin Adams
Born(1834-02-03)February 3, 1834
DiedOctober 28, 1877(1877-10-28) (aged 43)
OccupationStage actor
Years active1853–1876

He was born in Medford, Massachusetts,[1] and worked "at a mechanical trade in Boston" before he became an actor.[2]

Adams began his career on the stage in The Hunchback, at the National Theatre in Boston in 1853.[3] He also appeared in Hamlet with Kate Josephine Bateman in 1860, [3] as well in The Serf in 1865, and The Dead Heart, Wild Oats, The Lady of Lyons, Narcisse, and The Marble Heart. [1]

Although he apparently was not involved personally with the group, Adams allowed use of his name for the 1865 creation of the Adams's Dramatic Association in Pittsburgh.[4]

In 1867, Adams joined Edwin Booth's acting company, appearing in Romeo and Juliet, Narcisse, Othello, and Enoch Arden, [1] becoming the creator of the Arden role.[5] From 1870-75, Adams toured the country performing his best-known roles.

Adams toured Australia in 1876 and became ill while he was there. After he returned to the United States, he was the recipient of a benefit at the California Theatre in San Francisco.[6]

His last appearance was at the California Theatre in San Francisco in 1876. [1] His health failed on a visit to Australia, [3]and he died in Philadelphia in 1877. [1] He is buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery.[7]


  1. "Adams, Edwin". Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton and Co. 1887.
  2. "Edwin Adams Dead". The Times. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. October 29, 1877. p. 1. Retrieved 3 April 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  3. "Adams, Edwin". The New International Encyclopedia. New York: Dodd, Mead. 1905.
  4. Conner, Lynne (2007). Pittsburgh in Stages: Two Hundred Years of Theater. University of Pittsburgh Pre. p. 32. ISBN 9780822943303. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  5. Adams, William Davenport (1904). A dictionary of the drama: a guide to the plays, playwrights, players, and playhouses of the United Kingdom and America, from the earliest times to the present. vol. 1. A-G. Ghatto & Windus. p. 15. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  6. Watermeier, Daniel J. (2015). Between Actor and Critic: Selected Letters of Edwin Booth and William Winter. Princeton University Press. p. 80. ISBN 9781400871674. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  7. "Edwin Adams (1834-1877) - Actor". www.friendsofmountmoriah.org. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  • American National Biography, vol. 1, pp. 83–84.
  • Who Was Who in America: Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1963.

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