Ira Frederick Aldridge (1807-1867), Actor
Sitter in 4 portraits
Aldridge was born in New York to a 'Free Black' lay preacher. He was educated at the New York African Free School, where he began to develop an interest in amateur theatre and subsequently for a brief spell at the University of Glasgow. He made his stage debut in London in 1825, playing the role of Prince Oroonoko of Africa in the melodrama The Revolt of Surinam, or A Slave's Revenge. Aldridge made his name in the role of Othello at the Covent Garden Theatre in 1833 and went on to tour Europe and Russia. As a successful and critically acclaimed black actor Aldridge broke down many of the racial barriers that still surrounded early nineteenth century theatre. He was created a Knight of Saxony in 1858.
published by John Tallis & Company, after William Paine
stipple and line engraving, published circa 1850
Theatre and Live Entertainment
Actors and actresses