Edwin Booth (1833-1893) was one of the first great American actors. He was born into an acting family in Maryland and spent his childhood touring with his popular actor-father, Junius Brutus Booth. He enjoyed an illustrious stage career for many years, including a tour of England during the Civil War and a record-breaking 100-night run as Hamlet at the Winter Garden Theatre in 1864. His success and reputation rivaled those of his fellow American actor Edwin Forrest.
Edwin was forced to retire in April 1865, when his brother, John Wilkes Booth, assassinated President Lincoln. He reappeared as Hamlet the following year, but never fully recovered from the incident.