Sydney Barton Booth, nephew to infamous actor and Presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth, was born on this day in Boston. The entire family was a theatrical one here in the U.S., with Sydney's grandfather Junius Brutus Booth being an immigrant from England and a stage actor himself. Sydney was the son of Junius Brutus Booth Jr. and his wife, the popular actress, Agnes Booth. Sydney was born well after the Civil War and after his Yankee uncle, a northern confederate sympathizer, had shot and killed President Abraham Lincoln. Undeterred by the history of his family, he chose to follow in the family's footsteps and take to the stage. He did not, however, appear in film until well after the turn of the century. It is an irony that his debut role was not only an historical one, but a presidential one to boot. He appeared in the Edison short The Star Spangled Banner in 1911 at the age of 34 as President James Monroe, opposite Guy Coombs as Francis Scott Key; the film was directed by J. Searle Dawley. Booth did not stay in pictures for very long; he appears to have had a standard one year contract to work as an actor for the Edison studio for the year 1911. He appeared in 12 Edison shorts in that year, the last of which was A Modern Cinderella (1911). In 1913, he penned two film scenarios that made it into production: The Minister's Temptation and Nora's Boarders, both of which were made for Edison, so it's unclear when he actually wrote them. He made one additional appearance in a film, that came in the rare-for-it's-day feature length picture Your Girl and Mine: A Woman Suffrage Pay in 1914--a drama produced for Selig. Booth died in Stanford, Connecticut on the 5th of February, just a few days after his 60th birthday. He is buried in the Rosedale Cemetery in Manchester-By-The-Sea, Massachusetts. Booth was married to Elizabeth Synder, a prominent miniature painter.
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