Edwin Booth

Booth Hall of Fame

Booth by Quinn vs. Booth by Quinn

This bust of Booth (11/131833-6/7/1893) at the Hall of Fame was sculpted by the same artist who created Booth as Hamlet for Gramercy Park. Isn't it fascinating how the change in head position and hair results in a such a different mood? No theatrical make-up or special effects required.

Booth as Hamlet, head

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Favorite Booth quotes

The best translations cannot convey to us the strength and exquisite delicacy of thought in its native garb, and he to whom such books are shut flounders about in outer darkness.

An actor is a sculptor who carves in snow.

From a letter to the American public in 1865, after Booth's brother John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln:

My Fellow Citizens, It has pleased God to lay at the door of my afflicted family the lifeblood of our great, good, and martyred President. Prostrated to the very earth by this dreadful event, I am yet but too sensible that other mourners fill the land. To them, to you, one and all, go forth our deep, unutterable sympathy; our abhorrence and detestation for this most foul and atrocious of crimes. For my mother and sisters, for my remaining brothers and my own poor self, there is nothing to be said except that we are thus placed without any power of our own. For our present position we are not responsible. For the future - alas, I shall struggle on in my retirement bearing a heavy heart, an oppressed memory, and a wounded name.

Booth's daughter remembered her father reciting this to her at bedtime - probably a poem he had grown up with.

If your lips you’d keep from slips,
Of these five things beware:
Of whom you speak,
To whom you speak,
And how, and when and where.