ROBERTSONJohnston Forbes-Robertson (1853-1937) was a celebrated English actor and theater manager. He was considered to be one of the finest actors of his time. He was particularly noted for his portrayal of Hamlet. He did not profess a passion for his acting profession. He was born in London. His father was a journalist and theater critic. He had ten siblings and four of them pursued acting. His original interest was to become an artist, but to support himself financially he entered acting. He worked with Sir Henry Irving for some time as a second lead actor. He then became a lead actor. His starring roles included Dan’l Druce, Blacksmith and The Parvenu (1882). George Bernard Shaw wrote the part of Caesar for him in Caesar and Cleopatra. Forbes Robertson acted in a number of Shakespeare plays and also appeared a number of times with actress Mary Anderson in the 1880’s. In 1900 he married the American actress, Gertrude Elliott (1874-1950). In 1930, Forbes Robertson was knighted. This cabinet card portrait was produced by photographer Benjamin Falk who’s studio was located in New York City. Forbes Robertson is captured in costume in this image. The reverse of the photo is stamped “J. M. Russell 126 Tremont Street, Boston”.


This cabinet card photograph features Mrs Horace Nevill, British stage star. She also performed under the name of  Annie Rose. She made her debut in the Gaiety theater in 1879. Her first major success was at the Royalty Theater in the production of  “The Merry Duchess” (1883). Some of the plays she appeared in include “The Lady of Lyons” (1888) with Mr. Forbes Robertson, “The School for Scandal (1889), and “Dick Venables” (1890). The reverse of the cabinet card indicates that the Photographer of this image, the London Stereoscopic Company served as “Photographers to the Royal Family”. This honor appears to have been given out rather freely as I have encountered many studios advertising that they were “photographers to the Queen” or “photographers to the Royal family”.  The reverse of this image did have a rather unique bit of advertising. The studio advertised that they offered free lessons and special studios and dark rooms reserved for the use of amateurs. To view other photographs by the London Stereoscopic studio, click on the category “London Stereoscopic Studio”.