William Henry Crane

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William Henry Crane in 1916
William Henry Crane

William Henry Crane (30 April 1845 – 7 March 1928) was an American actor.


He was born in Leicester, Massachusetts on 30 April 1845.

He made his first appearance at Utica, New York, in Donizetti's The Daughter of the Regiment in 1863. Later he had a great success as Le Blanc the Notary, in the burlesque Evangeline (1873). He made his first hit in the legitimate drama with Stuart Robson (1836–1903), in The Comedy of Errors and other Shakespearian plays, and in The Henrietta (1881) by Bronson Howard (1842–1908). This partnership lasted for twelve years, and subsequently Crane appeared in various eccentric character parts in such plays as The Senator and David Harum.

In 1904 he turned to more serious work and played Isidore Izard in Business is Business, an adaptation from Octave Mirbeau's Les Affaires sont les Affaires.

In his 70s, Crane appeared in a number of films, notably in a reprise of his role in David Harum (1915). He also appeared in MGM's Three Wise Fools, a film recently revived on Turner Classic Movies and is available on home video/DVD.

Crane died on 7 March 1928 at the age of eighty-two in the Hollywood Hotel.

Partial filmography[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Broadway Credits at the Internet Broadway Database here.
  • Film Credits at the Internet Movie Database here.
  • "W. H. Crane" by Joseph Howard, Jr. in Famous American Actors of To-day, edited by Frederic Edward McKay and Charles E. L. Wingate, New York, Thomas Y. Crowell & Company, 1896. Online here.
  • "William H. Crane", Chapter XI in Famous Actors of the Day in America by Lewis C. Strang, Boston, L. C. Page and Company, 1900. Online here.
  • "Crane-Robson" in Some Players: Personal Sketches by Amy Leslie, Herbert S. Stone & Company, Chicago & New York, 1901. Online here.
  • "William H. Crane, A Study", By Edwin F. Edgett in Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly, January 1903 (Volume LV No. 3). Online here. (Illustration here).
  • Obituary in the New York Times, March 8, 1928, page 25, online here.