Biography of Laerence Barrett
Famous American Biographies

LAERENCE BARRETT is perhaps known more widely as a producer of new plays than as a great actor. He was born in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1838, and educated himself as best he could, and at the age of sixteen years became salesman for a Detroit dry goods house. He afterwards began to go upon the stage as a supernumerary, and his ambition was soon rewarded by the notice of the management. During the war of the Rebellion he was a soldier, and after valiant service for his country he returned to the stage. He went to Europe and appeared in Liverpool, and returning in 1869, he began playing at Booth's theater, with Mr. Booth. He was afterward associated with John McCullough in the management of the California theater. Probably the most noted period of his work was during his connection with Edwin Booth as manager of that great actor, and supporting him upon the stage.

Mr. Barrett was possessed of the creative instinct, and, unlike Mr. Booth, he sought new fields for the display of his genius, and only resorted to traditional drama in response to popular demand. He preferred new plays, and believed in the encouragement of modern dramatic writers, and was the only actor of prominence in his time that ventured to put upon the stage new American plays, which he did at his own expense, and the success of his experiments proved the quality of his judgment. He died March 21, 1891.

A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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