Edwin Thomas Booth (November 13, 1833–June 7, 1893), born near Bel Air, Maryland, was a famous 19th century American actor. He was the son of another famous actor, Junius Brutus Booth, who named Edwin after Edwin Forrest and Thomas Flynn, two of Junius' colleagues. Edwin's younger brother, John Wilkes Booth, also an actor, was Abraham Lincoln's assassin.
Booth made his stage debut in Richard III in Boston in 1849. In this and his other early appearances, he usually performed alongside his father. Two years later Edwin had his first starring role, this time standing in for his father.
After his father's death in 1852, Booth went on worldwide tour, visiting Australia and Hawaii, and finally gaining acclaim on his own during a performance run in Sacramento, California in 1856. He eventually became recognized as the pre-eminent American actor of his day.
At length Booth became manager of the Winter Garden Theater in New York City, mostly staging Shakespearian tragedies.
After Lincoln's assassination, the notoriety associated with the Booth name forced Edwin to abandon the stage for a period. His first reappearance afterward was in the Winter Garden in January 1866, playing the part of Hamlet, which became his signature role. The next year the theater was completely burned.
He then built the Booth Theater, completed in 1869, and continued a renowned acting career until the bankruptcy of the theater in 1874. Thereafter he went again on worldwide tour, eventually regaining his fortune.
In 1888 Booth founded the Players Club in New York. His final performance was again as Hamlet, in 1891 at the Brooklyn Academy.