Skinner, Otis

Skinner, Otis, 1858–1942, American actor, b. Cambridge, Mass. Skinner made his New York debut in 1879. After years as supporting player to Booth and Barrett, he toured with Augustin Daly and later with Modjeska. Enjoying a long and varied career, he won lasting fame in Kismet (1911). Skinner wrote extensively about the theater. The Last Tragedian (1939) contains his selections from Booth's correspondence.

His daughter, Cornelia Otis Skinner, 1901–79, American monologuist, actress, and author, b. Chicago, first appeared in her father's company in 1921. She won fame for her one-woman shows and original monologues. She wrote Our Hearts Were Young and Gay (with Emily Kimbrough, 1942), the autobiographical Family Circle (1948), Elegant Wits and Grand Horizontals (1962), and Madame Sarah (1967), a biography of Bernhardt.

See his Footlights and Spotlights (1924, repr. 1972) and Mad Folk of the Theatre (1928).

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