Morris W. Morris
|Morris W. Morris|
Morris W. Morris as Mephistopheles in Faust
|Born||September 4, 1844
|Died||August 20, 1906 (aged 61)
Long Island, New York, United States
Morris W. Morris (September 4, 1844 – August 20, 1906) (aka Lewis Morrison) was a Jamaican-born American stage actor best known for his longtime performance in the role of "Mephistopheles" in "Faust". Morris was of English, Spanish, Jewish, and African ancestry.
Morris served in the United States army in the Louisiana Native Guards during the Civil War. Officers of the Guard, based in New Orleans, was composed of free black soldiers from New Orleans and the surrounding area. Morris was their lieutenant. During the beginning of the Civil War, the Louisiana Guard promptly switched allegiances to the Union, and its soldiers became the first black officers in the Union army.
He was married to English-born actress Rose Wood, and by her was the father of actress Adrienne Morrison; and the grandfather of actresses Barbara Bennett, Joan Bennett and Constance Bennett, and the great-grandfather of Morton Downey, Jr.
After the Civil War, he became a stage actor first performing in New Orleans beginning in minor roles with Edwin Booth and Charlotte Cushman until he was featured in larger parts. He became a well-known actor in New Orleans and moved on to the New York stage where he gained greater fame in "Faust". He eventually founded his own traveling theater troupe and traveled the world playing the role of Mephistopheles in "Faust". His theater posters have been preserved by the American Archives and can be accessed on line. He was the grandfather of Hollywood film actresses Joan Bennett and Constance Bennett, and the great-grandfather of television talk show host, Morton Downey, Jr. He is buried in a mausoleum in Nepperhan Heights, New York.
On stage he was known as Lewis Morrison. His second wife was much younger Florence Roberts.
- "AN ACTRESS SEEKS A DIVORCE.". The New York Times. May 9, 1886.
- "LEWIS MORRISON DEAD.". The New York Times. Netdoor.com. August 20, 1906.
Histrionic Montreal: Annals of the Montreal stage, with biographical and ... By Franklin Graham, 1902.
- Rose Wood at the Internet Movie Database
- Google books-Lewis Morrison
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