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Edwin Booth

Edwin Thomas Booth (November 13, 1833 - June 7, 1893) was an American actor and the older brother of Abraham Lincoln's assassin, actor John Wilkes Booth.

Edwin Booth was born near Bel Air, Maryland, son of another famous actor, Junius Brutus Booth. The scion made his stage debut in Richard III in Boston in 1849. Two years later he had his first starring role, standing in for his father.

After his father's death in 1852, Booth went on worldwide tour, visiting Australia and Hawaii, and finally gaining acclaim on his own during a performance run in Sacramento, California in 1856. He eventually became recognized as the pre-eminent American actor of his day.

At length Booth became manager of the Winter Garden Theater in New York City, mostly staging Shakespearian tragedies.

After the assassination of Lincoln by his brother John, he shortly retired from the stage, first afterward appearing as Hamlet in the Winter Garden in January of 1866. The next year the theater was completely burned.

He then built the Booth Theater, completed in 1869, and continued a renowned acting career until the bankruptcy of the theater in 1874. Thereafter he went again on worldwide tour, eventually regaining his fortune.

In 1888 Booth founded the Players Club in New York. His final performance was again as Hamlet, in 1891 at the Brooklyn Academy.