William Ingersoll (actor)

William Ingersoll (October 9, 1860 – May 5, 1936) was an American actor on stage, in musical theatre and in film. During a career spanning over five decades, he played more than 800 roles on stage. After performing in his first silent motion picture in 1920, he appeared in a handful of "talkies" in the 1930s, playing mainly character roles such as doctors, judges and a police commissioner.

William Ingersoll
Born(1860-10-09)October 9, 1860
Lafayette, Indiana, Indiana, U.S.
DiedMay 5, 1936(1936-05-05) (aged 75)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Occupation
  • Stage performer
  • actor
  • film actor
Years active1880s–1930s
Style

Early lifeEdit

William Ingersoll was born in Lafayette, Indiana to a physician father, in a family that had never produced any actors; most of his relatives were shocked when, as a boy, he considered acting as a career, on the suggestion of his elder brother.[1] He studied mining engineering at the Colorado School of Mines in Denver[1][2] after graduating from Purdue University, where he made such an impression in The Pirates of Penzance that friends urged him to become an actor.[3]

CareerEdit

Ingersoll joined the Boston Museum Company in 1882,[2] where he remained for five years.[3] In the beginning, he divided his time between acting and supporting the company as a backstage hand and general utility man, eventually making his first professional appearance as a fully fledged actor in 1885.[1] He performed with Marie Wainwright in Twelfth Night at Palmer's Theatre in New York and went on tour with her for three seasons; she rated Ingersoll as "the best leading man on the American stage."[1]

In 1894, Ingersoll joined the summer stock theatre company that James F. Neill and R.L. Giffen had organized at the Manhattan Beach, Denver. In September of the same year, he joined the first winter stock company that Neill and Giffen also organized at the Lyceum Theatre, Denver.[4] When T. Daniel Frawley—who had placed another company in Salt Lake City in December 1894—later purchased the Neill-Giffen interests and moved the organization to San Francisco, Ingersoll remained on the roster of the combined Denver and Salt Lake City company.[4]

Ingersoll then married and left the stage, but resumed his acting career after his wife's death.[1] He first joined the Nat Goodwin Company,[1] with whom he performed in In Mizzoura when it opened at the Baldwin Theatre in San Francisco in June 1896;[5] immediately after the play closed, the whole company sailed to Australia on June 25.[6] Ingersoll remained with the Goodwin company for a period that included four seasons in Australia.[3] In addition to performing with the Nat Goodwin company, Ingersoll played in the supporting companies of Mary Shaw, William H. Crane, Marie Cahill and Charles Richman.[7]

He played leading parts at the Grand Opera House in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and at the Chestnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He acted in many roles as a visiting star in Columbus, Cincinnati,[3] at the Elitch Theatre in Denver, Colorado,[8] and in Washington, D.C., Providence, Rhode Island, Richmond, Virginia, Salt Lake City,[2] and on Broadway, among many others. He performed with stars of the period, such as Margaret Maher, Ethel Barrymore, Mrs. Fiske,[2] and William DeWolf Hopper.[9] In 1928–1929, he played in Brothers at the 48th Street Theatre in New York, learning his part perfectly in two days, one of the instances of his exceptional memory; this was the 821st he had learned.[8]

After appearing on stage for 55 years[8] and trying his hand in a silent film in 1920, he progressed into sound films in the 1930s, and one of his final talkies was Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936), in which he played the role of the Doctor.[8][10]

Personal lifeEdit

At the time of his death in 1936, Ingersoll was married to Mabel Tate,[3] and they had a daughter,[8] Mrs Ira Minnick.[11]

MembershipsEdit

Ingersoll was elected to The Lambs Theatre Club in 1893,[12] and was also a member of The Players Club and of the council of the Actors' Equity Association.[8]

Selected worksEdit

StageEdit

In the table below, all theatres are located in New York, NY, except where indicated.

Title Role Theatre Opening date Closing date # of perf. Ref.
In Mizzoura (Unknown) Baldwin Theatre, San Francisco June ??, 1896 June ??, 1896 N/A [5]
An American Citizen Egerton Brown Knickerbocker Theatre October 11, 1897 (Unknown) N/A [13]
Innocent as a Lamb (Unknown) Columbia Theater, Washington, D.C. July 10, 1898 (Unknown) N/A [14]
Nathan Hale Guy Fitzroy Knickerbocker Theatre January 2, 1899 (Unknown) N/A [15]
El Capitan Scaramba[a] Lyric Theatre, London July 10, 1899 October 28, 1899 154 [16]
Comedy Theatre, London October 30, 1899 December 9, 1899
Peter Stuyvesant (Unknown) Wallack's Theatre October 2, 1899 October ??, 1899 28 [17]
A Rich Man's Son (Unknown) Wallack's Theatre October 21, 1899 November 22, 1899 36 [18]
Home Folks (Unknown) Olympia Theatre December 26, 1904 January 1, 1905 34 [19][20]
Moonshine Plunger Dawson Liberty Theatre October 30, 1905 December 2, 1905 53 [21]
Majestic Theatre December 25, 1905 January 6, 1906
Gallops Charlie Galloway Garrick Theatre February 12, 1906 April 1, 1906 81 [22][23]
The Builders Roger Grant Astor Theatre May 20, 1907 June 1, 1907 16 [24][25]
A Social Pirate The Pirate Orpheum Players March 24, 1912 March 31, 1912 N/A [26]
Tante (Unknown) Empire Theatre October 28, 1913 January 1, 1914 79 [27][28]
So Much for So Much (Unknown) Longacre Theatre December 2, 1914 December 31, 1914 30 [29][30]
Experience Experience Manhattan Opera House January 22, 1918 February 9, 1918 23 [31][32]
Over Here (Unknown) Fulton Theatre September 10, 1918 September 30, 1918 23 [33][34]
Three Wise Fools Judge James Trumbull Criterion Theatre October 31, 1918 August 1, 1919 316 [35][36]
The Ouija Board Henry Annixter Bijou Theatre March 29, 1920 May 1, 1920 64 [37][38]
The Half Moon John Copley Adams Liberty Theatre November 1, 1920 December 11, 1920 48 [39][40]
Alias Jimmy Valentine Robert Fay, Lieut. Gov. of New York Gaiety Theatre December 8, 1921 January 1, 1922 46 [41][42]
The Charlatan Mason Talbot Times Square Theater April 24, 1922 June 17, 1922 61 [43][44]
Lights Out Mr. Peyton Vanderbilt Theatre August 17, 1922 August 26, 1922 12 [45]
It Is the Law Theodore Cummings Ritz Theatre November 29, 1922 March 1, 1923 125 [46][47]
Thumbs Down Judge Richard Fowler 49th Street Theatre August 6, 1923 August 31, 1923 24 [48][49]
Queen Victoria Lord Palmerston 48th Street Theatre November 15, 1923 December 1, 1923 44 [50][51]
Fata Morgana George's Father Garrick Theatre March 3, 1924 October 11, 1924 120 [52][53]
The Devil Within Doctor Armstrong Hudson Theatre March 16, 1925 April 4, 1925 24 [54][55]
The Goat Song Gospodar Jevrem Vesilie, Scavenger Guild Theatre January 25, 1926 March 1, 1926 58 [56][57]
The Half-Caste Dr. David Holden National Theatre March 29, 1926 May 1, 1926 64 [58][59]
Trapped Vincent Lorrimore National Theatre September 11, 1928 September 30, 1928 15 [60][61]
Adventure Jed Hampton Theatre Republic October 1, 1928[b] October ??, 1928 23 [62][63]
Hotbed Rev. David Rushbrook Klaw Theatre November 8, 1928 November ??, 1928 19 [64]
Brothers Dr. Calvin Moore 48th Street Theatre December 25, 1928 August 3, 1929 255 [65][66]
Fata Morgana George's Father Royale Theatre December 25, 1931 January 1, 1932 27 [67][68]
Angeline Moves In Prosper Weems Forrest Theatre April 19, 1932 April 30, 1932 7 [69][70]
The Web Professor Warren Morosco Theatre June 27, 1932 July ??, 1932 24 [71]
We, The People Thomas Williamson Empire Theatre January 21, 1933 March 1, 1933 49 [72][73]
Nine Pine Street Dr. Powell Longacre Theatre April 27, 1933 May ??, 1933 28 [74]
A Church Mouse Count von Talheim Mansfield Theatre June 26, 1933 July 1, 1933 9 [75][76]
A Divine Moment Admiral Standish Vanderbilt Theatre January 6, 1934 January 13, 1934 9 [77][78]
The First Legion Rev. Paul Duquesne 46th Street Theatre October 1, 1934 October 27, 1934 112 [79]
Biltmore Theatre October 29, 1934 January 5, 1935

FilmEdit

Explanatory footnotesEdit

  1. ^ J.P. Wearing indicates that the role of Scaramba was shared between Ingersoll and Melville Stewart (Wearing 2013, p. 421), although the available sources do not provide precise dates for when Ingersoll left the West End production of El Capitan to join the cast of Peter Stuyvesant at the Wallack's Theatre on October 2, 1899.
  2. ^ The available sources are confusing about the opening date of Adventure at the Theatre Republic in 1928, which they document as having taken place on "September 25". At the Playbill website, the digitized copy of page 15 of the play's original playbill states clearly: "Week beginning Monday evening, October 1, 1928" (Adventure Playbill #9965). Unless the closing date of Trapped on "September 30" at the National Theatre is in error, it seems improbable that Ingersoll could also have performed in Adventure if the latter had really opened on "September 25", as currently documented at both the IBDB and Playbill websites. Both these sources are also silent about the closing date of Adventure (Adventure IBDB #10723; Adventure Playbill #9965).

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Washington Times; July 17, 1898; p.14, col.4.
  2. ^ a b c d A Divine Moment Playbill #11131; p.12.
  3. ^ a b c d e Gettysburg Times; May 8, 1936; p.1.
  4. ^ a b New York Times; September 10, 1911; p.12, cols.6-7.
  5. ^ a b Goodwin 2016, p. 88.
  6. ^ Goodwin 2016, p. 91.
  7. ^ The Web Playbill #2503.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Gettysburg Times; May 8, 1936; p.2.
  9. ^ Janesville Daily Gazette; May 11, 1936; p.5.
  10. ^ AFI Catalog #5579.
  11. ^ Bakersfield Californian; May 9, 1936; p.6.
  12. ^ The Lambs Member Roster.
  13. ^ An American Citizen IBDB #405757.
  14. ^ Washington Times; July 17, 1898; p.14, col.3.
  15. ^ Nathan Hale IBDB #404622.
  16. ^ Wearing 2013, p. 421.
  17. ^ Peter Stuyvesant IBDB #5217.
  18. ^ A Rich Man's Son IBDB #5232.
  19. ^ Home Folks IBDB #4935.
  20. ^ Home Folks Playbill #11764.
  21. ^ Moonshine IBDB #4883.
  22. ^ Gallops IBDB #6171.
  23. ^ Gallops Playbill #12126.
  24. ^ The Builders IBDB #6346.
  25. ^ The Builders Playbill #1335.
  26. ^ Philadelphia Inquirer; March 31, 1912; p.54, col.2.
  27. ^ Tante IBDB #7722.
  28. ^ Tante Playbill #4076.
  29. ^ So Much for So Much IBDB #8102.
  30. ^ So Much for So Much Playbill #7066.
  31. ^ Experience IBDB #8656.
  32. ^ Experience Playbill #7954.
  33. ^ Over Here IBDB #8741.
  34. ^ Over Here Playbill #4624.
  35. ^ Bordman 1984, p. 667.
  36. ^ Three Wise Fools Playbill #11797.
  37. ^ The Ouija Board IBDB #6790.
  38. ^ The Ouija Board Playbill #1487.
  39. ^ The Half Moon IBDB #8341.
  40. ^ Dietz 2019, pp. 39–40.
  41. ^ Alias Jimmy Valentine IBDB #12720.
  42. ^ Alias Jimmy Valentine Playbill #4879.
  43. ^ The Charlatan IBDB #12795.
  44. ^ The Charlatan Playbill #10997.
  45. ^ Lights Out IBDB #9090.
  46. ^ It Is the Law IBDB #9160.
  47. ^ It Is the Law Playbill #10161.
  48. ^ Thumbs Down IBDB #8351.
  49. ^ Thumbs Down Playbill #469.
  50. ^ Queen Victoria IBDB #9319.
  51. ^ Queen Victoria Playbill #332.
  52. ^ Fata Morgana IBDB #9483.
  53. ^ Fata Morgana Playbill #12034.
  54. ^ The Devil Within IBDB #9757.
  55. ^ The Devil Within Playbill #5922.
  56. ^ The Goat Song IBDB #9669.
  57. ^ The Goat Song Playbill #5416.
  58. ^ The Half-Caste IBDB #10035.
  59. ^ The Half-Caste Playbill #2890.
  60. ^ Trapped IBDB #10674.
  61. ^ Trapped Playbill #2884.
  62. ^ Adventure IBDB #10723.
  63. ^ Adventure Playbill #9965.
  64. ^ Hotbed IBDB #10771.
  65. ^ Brothers IBDB #10810.
  66. ^ Brothers Playbill #305.
  67. ^ Fata Morgana IBDB #11465.
  68. ^ Fata Morgana Playbill #10336.
  69. ^ Angeline Moves In IBDB #11532.
  70. ^ Angeline Moves In Playbill #4815.
  71. ^ The Web IBDB #11608.
  72. ^ We, The People IBDB #13291.
  73. ^ We, The People Playbill #3983.
  74. ^ Nine Pine Street IBDB #9693.
  75. ^ A Church Mouse IBDB #7908.
  76. ^ A Church Mouse Playbill #8138.
  77. ^ A Divine Moment IBDB #11817.
  78. ^ A Divine Moment Playbill #11131.
  79. ^ The First Legion IBDB #9817.

SourcesEdit

BooksEdit

  • Bordman, Gerald (1984). The Oxford Companion to the American Theatre (hardcover) (1st ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-503443-1.
  • Dietz, Dan (2019). The Complete Book of 1920s Broadway Musicals (hardcover) (1st ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 978-1-5381-1281-6.
  • Goodwin, Nathaniel C. (2016) [1st pub. 1914]. Nat Goodwin's Book (softcover) (Reprint ed.). Virginia Beach, VA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1-5328-9044-4.
  • Wearing, J.P. (2013). The London Stage 1890–1899: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel (hardcover) (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-9281-1.

NewspapersEdit

Theatre programs/playbillsEdit

  • The Web. playbill.com (Theatre program/playbill). "Who's Who in the Cast: William Ingersoll". New York, NY: The New York Theatre Program Corporation. July 4, 1932. p. 14. Retrieved December 18, 2021.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  • A Divine Moment. playbill.com (Theatre program/playbill). "Who's Who in the Cast: William Ingersoll". New York, NY: The New York Theatre Program Corporation. January 6, 1934. p. 12. Retrieved December 18, 2021.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)

WebsitesEdit

External linksEdit