Edward Smith Willard was born in Brighton and beginning in 1869 played varied roles, including Romeo and Macduff. His first appearance in London was in 1875, and in 1876 he played Antonio with Charles Rice as Shylock. He then went back to the provincial theatres that same year where over the next five years he played such Shakespeare characters as Edmund, Benedick, Iago, and Macbeth.

He returned to London in 1881 and eventually joined the company of Wilson Barrett, staying with him until 1886. During those years with Barrett he had an opportunity to play Claudius in Measure for Measure and Iachimo in Cymbeline. He left Barrett and next played Macbeth in 1888. He went on tour to American from 1890 until 1894, where in his repertory he included Hamlet. Over the next few years he moved back and forth between England and America until he retired from acting in 1906. When he did return to the stage it was for benefit performances, once playing Brutus in 1911. We do not hear his name often now, but E. S. Willard was an important actor who did much to keep Shakespeare's plays on the boards.

E. S. Willard
(1853-1915)
related postcards
a studio postcard

a role in a non-shakespearean play

a role in a non-shakespearean play

a role in a non-shakespearean play

a role in a non-shakespearean play

a role in a non-shakespearean play

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