Thursday, August 13, 2009

John Drew Jr (1853-1927)

John Drew was an actor and matinee idol - he was one of the great stars of his day. His parents were John Drew and Louisa Lane Drew. John Sr. was also a great actor of his day and died tragically young after a fall in his home in 1862. Louisa had been a prodigy actress as a child, getting her first great reviews as early as 1828 in Philadelphia. She later became the manager of the Arch Street theater in San Francisco which she ran successfully for thirty years. John was born November 13, 1853 - during these early days of the Arch Street Theater, around the same time that his mother was in the middle of renovations on the building. He was the older brother of Louisa, Sidney (adopted), Adine (adopted) and Georgiana Drew. Georgiana later married Maurice Barrymore, making John the uncle of the famous Barrymore's - John, Lionel and Ethel. By the 1880s, having literally grown up in the theater, he joined Augustin Daly's company in New York. His frequent leading ladies would Ada Rehan and Maude Adams.

John married in 1885 to Josephine Baker - who should not to be confused with the African-American exotic dancer of the next century. Josephine was briefly an actress herself and met John on the stage. Her parents, also well known actors in Philadelphia, were John Lewis Baker and Alexina Fisher. Alexina had been a childhood friend of Louisa, John's mother. They had one daughter, Louisa Alexia Drew - named after her two famous grandmothers. Josephine died at the Algonquin Hotel in 1918, and John followed her in 1927.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) - June 8, 1905

ad in the Oakland Tribune - June 15, 1905


The midsummer engagement of John Drew and his splendid company in his greatest New York success, "The Duke of Killicrankle," will be held at the Macdonough Theater on the evenings of June 20, and 21. Although the last of the regular attractions for the season, it is by far the most important for Mr. Drew has scored a hit in the role everywhere and the play, which is by Robert Marshall, is considered the best he has ever had. Ferdinand Gottschalk, Margaret Dale and Fanny Brough share with the star the success of this delightful farcical romance. The prices will range from 50 cents to $2.00 and the sale of seats will begin next Monday morning at nine o'clock.

New York Times (New York, New York)
- August 13, 1918

Mrs. John Drew

Mrs. Josephine Baker Drew, wife of John Drew, the actor, died yesterday in her apartment at the Hotel Algonquin, after an illness of a year of a complication of diseases. The interment will be in Philadelphia, where Mrs. Drew lived before her marriage in 1885. She was a daughter of John Louis Baker, an actor and old friend of the Drews.

Mrs. Drew first met Mr. Drew on the stage, when she had a small part in a play in which Mr. Drew and his mother were appearing. A short time later they were married and Mrs. Drew retired from the footlights, never to return. Beside her husband, Mrs. Drew is survived by her daughter, Mrs. Louise Devereaux, who adopted a stage career at an early age.

No comments:

Post a Comment