John Drew (actor)

John Drew (actor)

:"For the Shakespearean actor born in 1853, this man's son, see John Drew Jr."Infobox actor
name = John Drew
birthname = Jonathan Henry Drewland
birthdate = birth date|1827|9|3|mf=y
location = Dublin, Ireland
deathdate = death date and age|1862|5|21|1827|9|3|mf=y
deathplace = Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
spouse = Louisa Lane Drew (m. 1848; until his death)

John Drew (September 3, 1827May 21, 1862) was an Irish-American stage actor and theatre manager.

Early life

Born Jonathan Henry Drewland in Dublin, Ireland, to Thomas L. Drew and Louise Kanten, he was the fifth of sixth children. He lived in Templeogue, a poor Irish village in Dublin during the 19th century. In 1852, John Drew emigrated to the United States with his family.


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".

Drew made his first New York appearance in 1846. He played Irish and light comedy parts with success in many American cities, and was the manager of the Arch Street Theatre.

Personal life

John married Louisa Lane in 1848. They had three children, Louisa (b.1852), John Jr. (b. 1853), and Georgiana (b. 1856), the latter two of whom were accomplished actors. (Georgiana married Maurice Barrymore in 1876, begetting the Barrymore family; this makes John Drew the 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 six year old Georgiana. He was buried in Nation Peace Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After his death, his wife Louisa took over the management of the Arch Street Theatre.


*Moses, "Famous Actor-Families in America" (New York, 1906)

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