Robert Hilliard


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(1857–1927), actor. Considered “the handsomest, as well as one of the best leading men” of his era, he was born in New York and made his stage debut in Brooklyn in 1886 in False Shame, appearing on Broadway in A Daughter of Ireland later that same year. Hilliard then succeeded Maurice Barrymore as leading man to Lillie Langtry. In 1891 he played Johann Tonnessen in The Pillars of Society, one of the earliest American productions of Ibsen's play. Although he was a star for many years, most of the plays in which he acted were popular but ephemeral works. His best-known roles were the bandit Dick Johnson in The Girl of the Golden West (1905), the doomed John Schuyler in A Fool There Was (1909), and the cool-headed detective Asche Kayton in The Argyle Case (1912). Between plays, Hilliard was equally popular on the vaudeville stage, where he appeared in numerous playlets.

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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