Today is the birthday of Junius Brutus Booth, Jr. (1821-1883). One might be tempted to describe him as the ne’er-do-well of the three Booth brothers, until you recall that one of those brothers was John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln. Still, the truth remains that of the three, despite the fact that he was the oldest and the one who bore their father’s name, Junius Junior’s was the least distinguished stage career, running a distant third to Edwin and John Wilkes. It’s all relative, of course (pun only half intended). He worked in theatre his entire life and was not without his stage triumphs, just none as great as his brothers’ or even those of his wife Agnes Booth (Marion Agnes Land Rookes, 1843-1910). In addition to playing notable roles like Cassius and King John, “June” managed major houses such as the Walnut Street Theatre, the Boston Theatre and his brother Edwin’s Booth Theatre.
For more on show business past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.