Keene, Laura

Keene, Laura,

c.1826–1873, Anglo-American actress-manager, b. England. She played with Mme Vestris at the Lyceum, London. She emigrated to the United States in 1852 and became manager (1855) of Laura Keene's Varieties Theater, New York City. In 1856 she opened Laura Keene's Theater (later the Olympic) and successfully produced and acted in many foreign and American plays until 1863. Her most famous production was Tom Taylor's Our American Cousin, which she gave at Ford's Theater, Washington, D.C., when Lincoln was shot there in 1865.
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Keene, Laura (b. Mary Frances Moss)

(?1820–73) actress, theater manager; born in London, England. She came to the U.S.A. in 1852, and after instant success in comedies, became the first woman to manage a theater in the U.S.A. (1855), encouraging American playwrights. She was performing at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., when Lincoln was assassinated.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.