Laura KeeneLaura Keene
American Actress and Manager
1820 – 1873 A.D.

Laura Keene, an American actress and manager, born in England, first appeared in the United States at Wallack’s Theatre, New York, in 1852.

After touring the country for several seasons, she opened her own theatre – Laura Keen’s, at 622 Broadway, New York, and conducted it successfully during seven years, making many notable presentations with the leading players of the times.

Later she traveled as a star, adn on the night of April 14, 1865, when President Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre, Washington, she was on the stage as Florence Trenchard, in Our American Cousin, and the assassin as he rushed toward the stage-door brushed against her in passing. It is said she never entirely recovered from the shock she received on that terrible night.

Laura Keene acted more than 150 parts, her greatest success being in glittering comedy parts such as Peg Woffington, Lady Teazle, Marco, and Lady Gay Spanker.


Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.