John Drew (actor)
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- For the Shakespearean actor born in 1853, this man's son, see John Drew Jr.
Autobiographical Sketch of Mr. John Drew, 1899
|Born||Jonathan Henry Drewland
September 3, 1827
|Died||May 21, 1862
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Louisa Lane Drew (m. 1848; until his death)|
Born Jonathan Henry Drewland in Dublin, Ireland, to Thomas L. Drew and Louise Kanten, he was the fifth of six children. He lived in Templeogue, a poor Irish village in County Dublin during the 19th century. In 1832, John Drew emigrated to the United States with his family to Boston, Massachusetts. As a child he spent most of his life living in Boston. This is where he first got into acting.
After moving to the United States, Drew got a job in the theatrical company of Joseph J. Johlen (the theatre manager). He appeared in a number of Johlen's plays, including Uncle Mutch, The Barber Man, Canterbury of Livingston and also The Progrist.
John married Louisa Lane in 1848 this being her third marriage and his first. They had three children, Louisa (b. 1852-1888), John Jr. (b. 1853-1927), and Georgiana (b. 1856-1893), the latter two of whom were accomplished actors. (Georgiana married Maurice Barrymore in 1876, begetting the Barrymore family; this makes John Drew a great-great-grandfather of actress Drew Barrymore.)
Drew died at his home in Philadelphia, at the early age of 34, after tripping & falling and fatally hitting his head during a party for daughter Georgiana. He was buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which was later closed and his body was moved to Mount Vernon Cemetery. After his death, his wife Louisa took over the management of the Arch Street Theatre.
- Moses, Famous Actor-Families in America (New York, 1906)