Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Ira Frederick Aldridge, Famous Unknown Shakespearean


Painting of the actor Ira Aldridge, possibly in the role of Othello, Walters Art Museum, Othello, attributed to Irish artist William Mulready. Afro Newspaper/Gado / Getty Images
Painting of the actor Ira Aldridge, possibly in the role of Othello, Walters Art Museum, Othello, attributed to Irish artist William Mulready. Afro Newspaper/Gado / Getty Images

He was one of the first Americans to achieve fame as a Shakespearean actor — and the first black man to do so, becoming a famous figure on the Victorian stage. But Aldridge has largely been excluded from biographies of Shakespearean actors.

Topics in this Podcast: entertainment history, shakespeare, theater, black history, actor, biographies, not just in the south


More to Explore