William Gillette

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William Hooker Gillett

Birthdate:
Death: Died
Place of Burial: Farmington, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Francis Gillette, U.S. Senator and Elizabeth Daggett Gillette
Husband of Helen Gillett
Brother of Edward H. Gillette; Robert Hooker Gillett; Frank Ashbel Gillett; Elizabeth G. Warner and Capt. Robert Hooker Gillett

Occupation: Actor/ Playwrite/ Stage Manager
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Gillette

Per Wikipedia Biography:

William Hooker Gillette (July 24, 1853 – April 29, 1937) was an American actor, playwright and stage-manager in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is best remembered for portraying Sherlock Holmes on stage and in a 1916 silent film long thought lost.

Gillette's most significant contributions to the theater were in devising realistic stage settings and special sound and lighting effects, and as an actor in putting forth what he called the "Illusion of the First Time". His portrayal of Holmes helped create the modern image of the detective. His use of the deerstalker cap (which first appeared in some Strand illustrations by Sidney Paget) and the curved pipe became durable symbols of the character.[1] He assumed the role onstage more than 1,300 times over thirty years, starred in the silent motion picture based on his Holmes play, and voiced the character twice on radio.

Held by the Enemy (1886), his first Civil War drama, was a major step toward modern theater in that it abandoned many of the crude devices of 19th century melodrama and introduced realism into the sets, costumes, props and sound effects. At a time when the British had a very low opinion of American art in any form, Held by the Enemy was the first wholly American play with a wholly American theme to be a critical and commercial success on British stages.

Link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Gillette'''

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Biography:

Was the first actor to be universally acclaimed for portraying Sherlock Holmes, having staged the first authorized play in 1899. In one of his productions of "Sherlock Holmes," he gave a young unknown actor the supporting role of Billy, the messenger boy. That actor was the later famous comedian Charles Chaplin. As Holmes, he smoked a curved Meerschaum pipe, rather than the more accurate straight clay pipes that Holmes always smoked in the stories. Gillette did this because it was nearly impossible for him to do believable "business" with the clay pipes. Because of this, one of the stereotypical Holmes trademarks is a Meerschaum. His home in East Haddam, CT, is known as Gillette's Castle and is now a state park. The castle was built for him and contains many ingenious and unique items designed by him; for example, no two of the 47 interior doors are alike. Performed his "Sherlock Holmes" character around 1,300 times

Handsome American actor, playwright and stage director/producer William Gillette was born in Hartford, CT, in 1853. His father Francis was a former United States Senator and crusader for women's suffrage and the abolition of slavery; his mother Elisabeth Daggett Hooker is a descendant of Rev. Thomas Hooker, who either wrote or inspired the first written constitution in history to form a government.

In 1873 William left Hartford to begin his apprenticeship as an actor, briefly working for a stock theatre company in New Orleans and then returning to New England. He made his debut at the Globe Theatre in Boston with Mark Twain's play "The Guilded Age" in 1875. His first major Civil War drama, "Hold by the Enemy", was a major step forward to modern theatre in that it abandoned many crude devices of Victorian melodrama and introduced realism into the sets, props, costumes, sound effects and performances; it was a critical and commercial success in America and Britain.

Gillette is probably best remembered, however, as the first actor to be universally acclaimed for portraying Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famed detective Sherlock Holmes, playing the role first on stage in 1899 and continuing for more than 35 years. He also wrote many stage versions from Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels and even starred in the film version, Sherlock Holmes (1916), directed by Arthur Berthelet for the Essanay Film Co. He had previously appeared in two other films, his debut being in J.P. McGowan's The Battle at Fort Laramie (1913) and the following year he played support as Jack Lane in The Delayed Special (1914), both of which starred Helen Holmes and were made for the Kalem Film Co. Gillette also became popular on radio, performing the first radio serial version of Sherlock Holmes in 1930 and in 1935. His last stage appearance was in Austin Strong's "Three Wise Fools" in 1936. He wrote 13 original plays, seven adaptations and some collaborations, encompassing farce, melodrama and novel adaption. He also wrote two pieces based on the US Civil War, "Held the Ememy" and "Secret Service", which were highly acclaimed. In 1882 he married Helen Nichols, who died in 1888 from peritonitis; he never remarried.

Gillette died from pulmonary hemorrhage in Connecticut in 1937 at age 83.

Source: - IMDb Mini Biography By: Paul Rothwell-Smith (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Link:http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0319069/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Gillette

William Hooker Gillette (July 24, 1853 – April 29, 1937) was an American actor, playwright and stage-manager in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is best remembered today for portraying Sherlock Holmes on stage and in a now lost 1916 silent film.

Gillette's most significant contributions to the theater were in devising realistic stage settings and special sound and lighting effects, and, as an actor, in putting forth what he called the Illusion of the First Time. His portrayal of Holmes helped create the modern image of the detective. His use of the deerstalker cap (which first appeared in some Strand illustrations by Sidney Paget) and the curved pipe became durable symbols of the character. He assumed the role onstage more than 1,300 times over thirty years, starred in a silent motion picture based on his Holmes play, and voiced the character twice on radio.

Held by the Enemy (1886), his first Civil War drama, was a major step toward modern theater in that it abandoned many of the crude devices of 19th century melodrama and introduced realism into the sets, costumes, props and sound effects. And, at a time when the British had a very low opinion of American art, in any form, Held by the Enemy was also the first wholly American play with a wholly American theme to be a critical and commercial success on British stages.

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William Gillette's Timeline

1853
July 24, 1853
1937
April 29, 1937
Age 83
????
Farmington, Connecticut, United States