FROHMAN


FROHMAN, U.S. family of theatrical figures, born in Sandusky, Ohio. DANIEL (1851–1940), theater manager and producer, began his career as a journalist, but later turned to theater management. In 1880 he became business manager of the Madison Square Theater. Later he bought the Lyceum Theater (1885) and appointed David *Belasco as stage manager. He staged plays by Belasco, A.W. Pinero, V. Sardou, and H.A. Jones, and such stars as William Faversham, Henry Miller, and E.H. Sothern acted under his management. He also managed Daly's Theater (1899–1903) and, after the Lyceum closed, opened the New Lyceum (1903). Later he went into film production and became a director of the Paramount Company. In 1933 he returned to Broadway to produce an English version of the Yiddish drama Yoshe Kalb at the National Theater, butthe play closed after four performances. Daniel was president of the Actors' Fund of America from 1903 until his death and remained a revered figure of the American stage. He recalled his career in Memories of a Manager (1911), Daniel Frohman Presents (1935), and Encore (1937).

His brother, GUSTAVE (1855–1930), a theater manager, interested Charles (see below) in the theater and persuaded Daniel to leave journalism.

A third brother, CHARLES (1860–1915), theater manager and producer, was for some years a booking agent with connections throughout the United States. Later he helped organize a theatrical syndicate which controlled U.S. theaters for several years. Frohman acquired the Empire Theater in New York and had controlling shares in others. He also had interests in five theaters in England. As a producer, he scored his first real success with Shenandoah (1889). He was the first U.S. producer to become famous outside the country and produced some 125 plays in London. Charles managed and developed many stars of the stage of his day, some of the best known being Maude Adams, Ethel Barrymore, John Drew, William Gillette, and Otis Skinner. He also introduced Oscar Wilde and Somerset Maugham to the American public. Frohman dominated the U.S. stage in his time and with his death, on the torpedoed Lusitania, an era ended.

[Jo Ranson]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.