FRANCIS WILSON: EARLY AMERICAN THEATRE STAR, PLAYWRIGHT, AND AUTHOR

Francis Wilson (1854-1935) was an American actor born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He began his career in minstrel shows but by the time he was 24 year-old he was playing in Philadelphia’s Chestnut Theatre. He worked several years in regular comedy and later took up opera, most successfully in “Eminie” (1886). He later starred in “The Oolah” (1889), The Lion Tamer (1891), The Little Corporal (1898), and then in a play that he authored, “The Bachelor’s Baby (1909). Wilson authored additional plays as well as books. He wrote  books about fellow actors Joseph Jefferson and John Wilkes Booth. He also penned an autobiography. The photographer of this cabinet card portrait of the handsome Wilson, is Falk, a photographer known for his celebrity portraits. To view other images by Falk, click on this site’s category “Photographer: Falk”. To see other cabinet card images of actors, click on the category “Actors”.

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  1. Francis Wilson was a great friend of Eugene Field (1850-1895) American author, poet, newspaperman, humorist. He wrote a book in 1898, after Field’s passing, entitled “The Eugene Field I Knew”.


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