J. C. Williamson

James Cassius Williamson ( born August 26, 1845 in Mercer, Pennsylvania, † July 6, 1913 in Paris) was an Australian actor and impresario.


Williamson joined for the first time twelve years old on a stage. It was in 1861 errand boy and assistant to the theater company Messres. Hurd and Perkins and 1862 member of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Toronto. He then joined New York as a dialect comedian.

In 1871 he went to San Francisco. Here he met actress Maggie Moore, whom he married in 1873. The same year she appeared in the processing of Clay M. Greene in Salt Lake City in the play Struck Oil. Signed to George Coppin they came to Australia. Here they opened with the piece in 1874, the Theatre Royal in Melbourne, appeared at the Queen 's Theatre on in Sydney and took from 1875 to 1879 a tour of Europe and America.

1879, Williamson, the performing rights in Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore for Australia and came under the management of Coppin with the operetta in Melbourne and Sydney on. In 1880 he founded the Royal Comic Opera Company, which in the following year the Theatre Royal in Melbourne. In 1882, he worked with Arthur Garner and George Musgrove. Together they picked actors like George Rignold, Dion Boucicault Sr. and Nellie Stewart to Australia and opened in 1886 with the operetta The Mikado the New Princess 's Theatre in Melbourne.

1891 succeeded Williamson and Garner to bring the famous Sarah Bernhardt to Australia. The season was so successful that Williamson Garner - Musgrove had previously separated from both - could pay off. From 1892 he again worked with Musgrove, with whom he 1896 the highly successful pantomime Djin Djin Australian produced and who was his representative in London until the final separation in 1899. In 1899 he married after his divorce from his first wife, the dancer Mary Alice Weir.

By 1900, Williamson led the Princess 's Theater alone, then he took over the Alexandra Theatre in Melbourne, which he renamed Her Majesty's, and Her Majesty's in Sydney. In 1904 he founded a company with his manager George Tallis and Gustav Ramaciotti with which he brought spectacle with over 600 paid staff members on the stage.

In 1910 he founded the JC Williamson Ltd Ramaciotti as a manager, with whom he organized successful tours Australia with Harry Brodribb Irving and Nellie Melba. His last years were spent Williamson predominantly in Europe. On the way back from a benefit performance for the benefit of the widows of the South Pole expedition of Robert Falcon Scott in Sydney, he died on July 6, 1913 in Paris. His theater company worked under various directors until 1976.


  • Australian Dictionary of Biography - Williamson, James Cassius (1845 - 1913)
  • Gilbert & Sullivan Discography Homepage - The JC Williamson Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company
  • Theater actors
  • Theater director
  • Born in 1845
  • Died in 1913
  • Man