James K. Hackett (James K. Hackett)

James K. Hackett

Actor. A classical stage actor, director, and silent film star, Hackett played the dual leading roles in the 1913 film version of “The Prisoner of Zenda”. The son of the celebrated American Shakespearean actor, James H. Hackett, who had been a favorite of both Davy Crockett and Abraham Lincoln, he was born in Wolfe Island, Canada, and had initially studied law at the City College of New York. His outstanding acting talent soon became evident in college theatricals, however, and he embarked on a stage career after graduation, making his professional debut in 1892. He subsequently followed in his father’s footsteps as a distinguished interpreter of Shakespearean characters, among other leading roles, and became one of his era’s great matinee idols, playing opposite such luminaries as Maude Adams. He eventually formed his own theatre company in the actor-manager tradition, and at one point produced a play by the legendary film director D.W. Griffith. Hackett’s own art also extended to the cinema, and he starred in and directed several early silents. He died of liver disease in Paris, France, at the age of 57, leaving a $1 million bequest to the Actors’ Home in Staten Island, New York.  His gravesite is marked by a monument designed by the noted English architect, Sir Edwin Luytens. (bio by: Nikita Barlow)  Family links:  Parents:  James Henry Hackett (1800 – 1871)  Spouse:  Mary Mannering (1876 – 1953)*  Sibling:  John Keteltas Hackett (1821 – 1879)*  James K. Hackett (1869 – 1926) *Calculated relationship


  • September, 05, 1869
  • Canada


  • November, 11, 1926
  • France


  • Woodlawn Cemetery
  • USA

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