Charles Frohman

Charles Frohman ( born June 17, 1860 in Sandusky, Erie County, Ohio; † May 7, 1915 in the Atlantic Ocean off Ireland) was an American theater director and producer.

Background and Career

Charles Frohman was the sixth of seven children of a Jewish couple in Sandusky, Ohio to the world. He was the brother of Daniel (1851-1940), Gustave (1854-1930), Caryl, Emma, Etta and Rachel. When Charles was 14, attracted the Good Mans to New York City and Charles took a job as a newspaper delivery boy at the New York Graphic. He later moved to New York Tribune, where his brother Daniel worked. A year later, he went into the management of the newspaper. He developed a taste for the theater and worked his way up to the producers and owners of their own theater high. In 1880, he secured the rights to the song Shenandoah, the first step to worldwide fame.


Frohman went public, founded in 1890 by Charles Frohman Stock Company and two years later, the Empire Theatre Stock Company. Both unprofitable as and paved his way to wealth and privilege. In 1893 he produced his first Broadway show, Clyde Fitch's Masked Ball with Frohman's rediscovery Maude Adams. Throughout his career, Frohman discovered on both sides of the Atlantic, dozens of new acting talent, including John Drew, Edna May Oliver, Ethel Barrymore, Marie Tempest, Amelia Herbert, Rita Jolivet and many others. He also worked with Henry Miller, William Gillette and Julia Marlowe. He cared personally for the welfare of his proteges, gave away books abound, chocolates, flowers and other touches. In addition, he sought many costumes and props from itself, to make sure that the pieces hundred percent corresponded to his ideas.

In 1896, Frohman with his colleagues Al Hayman, Abraham L. Erlanger, Mark Klaw, Samuel F. Nixon and Fred Zimmerman, the Theatrical Syndicate, an organization that should monopolize the contract management in the American theater world. Among his most successful pieces of James M. Barrie's Peter Pan was one in 1905, again with Maude Adams. Frohman had especially a penchant for comedy and serene pieces, which was a rarity in times of great staged dramas. He had an aversion to the many " bloody, over dramatized pieces " that dominated America at that time. As the competition of the Shubert Brothers was felt to Frohman turned to the European market in 1910 and founded a theater in London, where he discovered stars such as George du Maurier and came into contact with the opera actress Josephine Brandell. By 1915, Frohman had produced more than 700 shows and employed more than 700 actors per season. Each fall, he visited his theater in London, to provide new performances to his feet and identify new talent.

Frohman was very careful to keep his private life private, and appeared rarely in public. There were almost no details about the famous New Yorker. He advised his actors often do the same. Rumor has it he had secretly married Maude Adams, but this was not ever confirmed either by Adams of Frohman himself. The only thing we knew about him was his fondness for sweets.


1912 crashed Frohman, who suffered from arthritis with age, at his home in White Plains, New York stairs down and now had to walk with a stick, which he sarcastically called " my wife ". He was in great pain in the joints and could only autonomously moves with difficulty. In spite of good medical treatment, his condition did not improve.


Frohman, 1915, on his annual trip to England, unusually, in the spring to get Gaby Deslys in James Barrie's Rosy Rapture: to look at the Duke of York Theatre in London The Pride Of The Beauty Chorus. He booked a first-class passage on the luxury liner Lusitania, which left New York on May 1, and schedule should arrive in Liverpool on May 8. Frohman was accompanied by a great multitude friend from the New York theater scene as Justus Forman, Charles Klein and Rita Jolivet. Also Known Frohman's Josephine Brandell was on board.

The increasingly aggressive anti-submarine warfare and the many warnings of Germany not to travel on a British ship had left many traces and many friends had Frohman almost begged not to go with the Lusitania to England. John Drew telegraphed shortly before departure at Frohman: "I will never forgive you if you are being hunted by a U- boat in the air. " Another asked him: " Are not you afraid of the submarines " replied Frohman "No, the only thing I 'm afraid, are IOUs. "

On board, he lived in the luxurious suite B- 75th He spent most of his time in his cabin and worked continuously in current and new productions. On May 4, he called the ship's doctor because of severe pain in the leg. Two days later he was in his suite a private party, which was frequented by many famous personalities. On May 7, when the Lusitania crossed the Irish coast, it was attacked and sunk by German submarine U 20. Frohman was with some members of his entourage on deck. He still tried to calm the actress Rita Jolivet and gave her tips on how she should hold on to the railing ( " As if I only ordinary stage directions were ," she said later from ). He gave his life jacket to a woman and lit a cigar. The group stayed together until the water closed over the ship and tore apart.

The handicapped Frohman did not survive the sinking. His last words testified to his theatrical character: To the would be to awfully big adventure. ( "To die would be an immense adventure. " Quote from Peter Pan). His body was identified as # 24, transferred to America and buried in the Union Field Cemetery in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Erroneously stated on his grave stone June 16 as date of birth.