Frank Westerton

Francis Henry Westerton (6 April 1866 – 25 August 1923) was a British stage and silent film actor of the 19th and early 20th centuries who carved a successful career on Broadway from 1905 to 1922.

Frank Westerton
Frank H Westerton.jpg
Westerton c.1922
Francis Henry Westerton

(1866-04-06)April 6, 1866
DiedAugust 25, 1923(1923-08-25) (aged 57)
Years active1880–1922
Madge E. McNulty
(m. 1905)

Early careerEdit

Frank H Westerton c1893

Frank Westerton was born in Kensington in London in 1866, the eldest of five sons of Adelaide née Adkinson (1843–1915) and Samuel John Westerton (1840–1889), a Drysalters Agent. By the time of the 1881 Census the family were living in Liverpool where Westerton is recorded as a Junior Clerk.[1]

Frank Westerton commenced his successful stage career sometime in the late 1880s and in 1891 he was playing opposite Ellaline Terriss in a revival of Arrah-Na-Pogue at the Princess's Theatre in London.[2] Also in 1891 he played Richard Hare in East Lynne at the Royalty Theatre.[3] In 1892 he appeared as Red Mike in The Life We Live at the Princess's Theatre.[4]

For about a decade he was with the theatrical company of Ben Greet.[5] In 1895 he appeared for Greet as Silvius in As You Like It, Ernest Vane in Masks and Faces, Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing, George Hastings in She Stoops to Conquer and Antigonus in The Winter's Tale at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.[6][7] In December 1896 he appeared for Greet as Antigonus in The Winter's Tale at the Theatre Royal in Aldershot in Hampshire.[8] In 1897 during the Ben Greet Season at the Olympic Theatre in London Westerton played Sextus Pompey in Antony and Cleopatra, Gratiano in The Merchant of Venice and Banquo in Macbeth.[9] By 1901 he is listed on the Census as a Theatrical Actor.[10][11]

Move to AmericaEdit

Westerton first went to the United States in 1902 where he toured in Everyman for The Ben Greet Players and again in Sweet Kitty Bellairs (1903-04) at the Belasco Theatre[12] before moving there permanently, marrying the American actress Madge E. McNulty in Manhattan on 16 February 1905. Westerton appeared regularly on Broadway from 1905 to 1922, making his Broadway début as Bevilaccas, a licensed news-bearer in Adrea (1905) at the Belasco Theatre. Other appearances include The Rose of the Rancho (1906) at the Belasco Theatre; in the farce The Patriot (1908) at the Garrick Theatre; The Scandal (1910) at the Garrick Theatre; in A Lucky Star (1910) at the Hudson Theatre; in the 1910 revival of Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman at the Gaiety Theatre; The Phantom Rival (1914) at the Belasco Theatre; What Money Can't Buy (1915) at the 48th Street Theatre; The Pride of Race (1916) at the Maxine Elliott's Theatre; The Tempest (1916) at the Century Theatre; Rich Man, Poor Man (1916) at the 48th Street Theatre; as Captain Spicer in the musical romance Kitty Darlin' (1917) at the Casino Theatre; as Lieut. Arthur Bennett in Three Faces East (1918) at the Longacre Theatre, and as George Burroughs in the comedy farce The Champion (1921) at the Longacre Theatre.[13] Westerton's final Broadway role was as Edward Harley in It Is the Law (1922) at the Ritz Theatre.[11][12][14][15]

Westerton played Lescaut opposite Lina Cavalieri in the American-made 1914 silent film Manon Lescaut.[16] The film is now considered lost.

Frank Westerton died in New York City in August 1923.[11][12]


  1. ^ 1881 England Census for Francis H. Westerton - Lancashire, Toxteth Park, District 7 - (subscription required)
  2. ^ Programme for the revival of Arrah-na-Pogue (1891) at the Princess's Theatre in London - University of Kent Special Collections & Archives]
  3. ^ J.P. Wearing, The London Stage 1890-1899: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel, Rowman & Littlefield (2014) - Google Books pg. 90
  4. ^ Wearing, pg. 114
  5. ^ Mr Frank H Westerton currently appearing with the Ben Greet Company - The Stage, 1 August 1895 pg. 4
  6. ^ Frank H Westerton - Shakespeare Birthplace Trust database
  7. ^ Frank Westerton in Much Ado About Nothing - Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon - Theatricalia database
  8. ^ Signed autograph from Westerton dated 1896 from the Theatre Royal in Aldershot - the Glenn Christodoulou Collection
  9. ^ William Archer, The Theatrical World of 1897, W. Scott, London (1897) - online ebook
  10. ^ 1901 England Census for Francis H Westerton - Lancashire, Bootle cum Linacre, District 07 - (subscription required)
  11. ^ a b c - Frank. H. Westerton on Footlight Notes
  12. ^ a b c Frank H. Westerton - Internet Broadway Database
  13. ^ Thomas S. Hischak, Broadway Plays and Musicals: Descriptions and Essential Facts of More Than 14,000 Shows Through 2007, McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers (2009) - Google Books pg. 843
  14. ^ Hischak, pg. 2614
  15. ^ Frank Westerton on the Playbill website
  16. ^ LINA CAVALIERI AS PHOTO PLAY HEROINE; Acts Manon Lescaut in Abbe Prevost's Famous Love Story at Republic Theatre - The New York Times 14 June 1914

External linksEdit