- James Herne
James A. Herne (
February 1, 1839– 1901), an American playwright, born James Ahern. Considered by some critics to be the "American Ibsen," his controversial play " Margaret Fleming" is often credited with having begun modern dramain America.
James Ahearn was born in
Cohoes, New York. His parents were poor Irish immigrants who removed him from school at age thirteen to work in a brush factory.
Herne decided to become an actor the next year but was twenty before he could join a traveling
troupe. He enjoyed modest success as a young actor, appearing in Baltimoreand Washington, D.C.with the John Thompson Fordcompany in the early 1860s. He was the leading man for the Lucille Western Touring Company from 1865"-"1867. He was briefly married, in the early 1860s, to Lucille's sister Helen Westernan actress who later became romantically involved with John Wilkes Booth. He managed the Grand Opera House at 23rd and 8th Avenue in New York Cityfor a season. He then moved to San Franciscoin 1870 to manage several other theaters. In San Francisco, he met David Belasco, with whom he collaborated on at least three of his plays. He also met and married his second wife, actressKatherine Corcoran. The couple had two daughters, Julie Herne and [http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchresult.cfm?parent_id=526314&word= Katherine Chrystal Herne] who usually went by the name [http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=44991 Chrystal] .
Herne was the first American playwright to incorporate dramatic realism. He ventured away from nineteenth century dramatic romance and
melodrama. Much of Herne's work faded into obscurity in the twentieth century. However, he exerted a profound influence, directing American dramatic literature toward the depiction of complex socially realities. This was illustrated in his controversial play "Margaret Fleming" (1890). The work singled him out as an influential figure in 19th century drama.
Herne's first successful play, "Hearts of Oak", was written and produced with Belasco in 1879. After this, Herne focused mostly on writing. Ironically, of his later plays, only a handful saw financial success in his lifetime. He continued to act, often in his own works, but also in the plays of others. In 1897 Herne played "Nathaniel Berry" in "Shore Acres"at the
HarlemOpera House. It was the sixth consecutive season that he portrayed this character.
James A. Herne died in New York in 1901.
* "Within an Inch of his Life" with David Belasco 1879
* "Marriage by Moonlight" with David Belasco 1879
* "Hearts of Oak" with David Belasco 1879
* "The Minute Man" 1886
* "Drifting Apart" 1888
* "Margaret Fleming" 1890
Shore Acres" 1893
* "Art for Truth's Sake" (essay) 1897
* "The Reverent Griffith Davenport" 1899
* "Sag Harbor" 1900
[http://www.wayneturney.20m.com/hernejamesa.htm James Herne biography] with photo.
Literature Resource Center. "James Ahearn Herne." http://www.galegroup.com/LitRC/
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Herne, James A. — (1839 1901) Born in Cohoes, New York, son of a poverty stricken Irish immigrant family, James Aherne left school in early adolescence to work in a brush factory. His family s Dutch Reformed religious beliefs forbade attending theatre, but when … The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater
Herne, James A. — orig. James Ahearn born Feb. 1, 1839, Troy, N.Y., U.S. died June 2, 1901, New York, N.Y. U.S. playwright. He worked as a traveling actor before achieving success with his first play, Hearts of Oak (1879; written with David Belasco). Margaret… … Universalium
Herne, Katharine Corcoran — (1856 1943) The wife of playwright James A. Herne and mother of actress Chrystal Herne was herself a reputable actress. Born Katharine Corcoran in Ballyleeks, County Cork, Ireland,* she came to New York with her parents and siblings in 1860.… … The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater
herne — ˈhe(ə)rnə adjective Usage: usually capitalized Etymology: from Herne, Germany : of or from the city of Herne, Germany : of the kind or style prevalent in Herne * * * /herrn/, n. 1. James A(hern) /euh herrn /, 1839 1901, U.S. actor and playwright … Useful english dictionary
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Herne — /herrn/, n. 1. James A(hern) /euh herrn /, 1839 1901, U.S. actor and playwright. 2. a city in W Germany, in the Ruhr region. 174,200. * * * ▪ Germany city, North Rhine–Westphalia Land (state) … Universalium