Drew - Encyclopedia

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DREW, the name of a family of American actors. JOHN DREW (1827-1862) was born in Dublin and made his first New York appearance in 1846. He played Irish and light comedy parts with success in all the American cities, and was manager of the Arch Street theatre in Philadelphia. He visited England in 1855, and Australia in 1859, and died in Philadelphia. His wife, LouISE LANE DREW (1820-1897), was the daughter of a London actor, and in 1827 went to America, appearing as the Duke of York to the elder Booth's Richard III., and as Albert to Edwin Forrest's William Tell. After this she starred as a child actress, and then as leading lady. She had been twice married before she became Mrs Drew in 1850. Fom 1861 to 1892 she had the management of the Arch Street theatre in Philadelphia. In 1880 she toured with Joseph Jefferson in his elaborate revival of The Rivals, playing Mrs Malaprop to perfection. She had three children, John, Sidney and Georgiana, wife of Maurice Barrymore (1847-1905), and mother of Lionel and Ethel Barrymore, all actors. The eldest son, JOHN DREW (b. 1853), began his stage career under his mother's management in Philadelphia as Plumper in Cool as a Cucumber, on the 22nd of March 1873; and after playing with Edwin Booth and others, became leading man in Augustin Daly's company in 1879. His association with this company, and with Ada Rehan as the leading lady, constituted a brilliant period in recent stage history, his Petruchio being only one, though perhaps the most striking, of a series of famous impersonations. In 1892 he left Daly's company, and began a career as a "star."

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