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  • Edward Smith Willard also known professionally as E. S. Willard, was an English actor. He was born at Brighton and made his debut upon the stage at Weymouth in The Lady of Lyons in 1869. He then toured with E. A. Sothern and later joined various stock companies. Coming to London in 1875, he played Antonio in The Merchant of Venice with Charles Rice in 1876. After a varied experience in Shakespearean and other plays, in 1881 he was engaged by Wilson Barrett at the Princess Theatre, where he played in The Lights of London, The Silver King, and other well-known pieces. In 1886 he made a hit as Jim the Penman at the Haymarket. One of his greatest successes was his production of The Middleman by H. A. Jones, at the Shaftesbury in 1889, he himself creating the part of Cyrus Blenkarn. He came to the United States in 1890, and made his first appearance at Palmer's Theatre in New York, November 10, 1890, when he again acted in the powerful play of "The Middleman," by Henry Arthur Jones, and the greeting that hailed him was that of earnest respect.

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