William H. Crane (William H. Crane)

William H. Crane

Actor. He was a popular theatre star of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, notably as part of the comedy duo Robson & Crane. Born William Henry Crane in Leicester, Massachusetts, he began performing in light opera in 1863 and first appeared on Broadway in the operatic spoof “Little Faust!” (1870). In 1877 he teamed with actor Stuart Robson (1836 – 1903) to produce and star in a very successful series of domestic comedies and revivals of the classics, including “Our Bachelors” (1878), “The Comedy of Errors” (as the Brothers Dromio, 1878, 1885), “The Merry Wives of Windsor” (with Crane as Falstaff, 1880), “Sharps and Flats” (1880), “Twelfth Night” (1881), and “The Henrietta” (1887). After the team split up in 1889, Crane went on to a fine solo career in comic leads written especially for him. His greatest triumph was the title role of the wily horse trader in “David Harum” (1900), which enjoyed two Broadway revivals and kept him touring for years. In 1915, at age 70, Crane made his movie debut reprising this role in an adaptation directed by Allan Dwan. He then lived in semi-retirement in Hollywood, emerging for occasional supporting parts in such films as “The Saphead” (1920), “Three Wise Fools” (1923), “True As Steel” (1924), and “So This Is Marriage?” (1924). (bio by: Bobb Edwards)


  • April, 30, 1845
  • USA


  • March, 03, 1928
  • USA


  • Hollywood Forever Cemetery
  • California
  • USA

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