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Charles Frohman

Frohman, Charles (frōˈmən) [key], 1860–1915, American theatrical manager and producer, b. Sandusky, Ohio. Starting his career as a box-office clerk in Brooklyn, N.Y., Frohman became a successful producer with Bronson Howard's Shenandoah (1889). In 1893 he organized the Empire Theatre Stock Company. Soon he acquired five other New York City theaters and later headed the Theatrical Syndicate. He was known for his ability to develop talent; his stars included John Drew, Ethel Barrymore, E. H. Sothern, Julia Marlowe, Maude Adams, and Henry Miller. In 1897 he leased the Duke of York's Theatre, London, introducing plays there as well as in the United States. Clyde Fitch, J. M. Barrie, and Edmond Rostand were among the playwrights he promoted. The system of exchange of successful plays between London and New York was largely a result of his efforts. He was known as an exceptionally fair man whose word was his only contract. Frohman died at sea on the Lusitania.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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