James Edward Murdoch Photo

James Edward Murdoch

Born: Jan 25, 1811

Death: May 19, 1893

Birthplace: Philadelphia

Profession: Actor

Nationality: United States

James Edward Murdoch

Date of Birth : Jan 25, 1811
Date of Death : May 19, 1893
Birth Place : Philadelphia

James E. Murdoch was an American actor and elocutionist. James Edward Murdoch was born in Philadelphia, the eldest of four sons of Thomas and Elizabeth Murdoch. James apprenticed under his father in the business of bookbinding. He served as a volunteer fireman with the Vigilant Company. In 1829, he made his first dramatic appearance as Frederick in Kotzebue's play Lover's Vows. He had his first lead role in 1830 with the traveling company of Vincent DeCamp. The following year, he married Eliza Middlecott. In 1832, while suffering from indigestion, he accidentally ingested a preparation of arsenic. A doctor was called in and saved his life, but thereafter he would suffer health problems and fatigue. During the succeeding years he took various roles on the stage. His career prospects began to take a turn for the better in 1845 when he played the role of Hamlet at Park Theater, New York. For years afterward, he was considered the best performer of Hamlet on the American stage. For the next fifteen years he played a variety of roles and became a leading light on the American stage. He co-authored a work titled, Orthophony; or the Cultivation of the Voice, in Elocution in 1847.


  • Actor
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