Frank R. Benson

Picture Frank R. Benson

1858 - 1939

The actor Frank Robert Benson was not only a busy stage actor but also paved the way for many of his colleagues as an acting teacher. To his trainee belonged his cousin Basil Rathbone as well as Leslie Banks and Robert Donat.

Frank R. Benson's started into the world of the theater as producer of the play "Agamemnon" in 1881. It was the first play which was performed in genuine Greek. As a professional actor he made his debut one year leater at Sir Henry Irvings Lyceum Theater with the play "Romeo and Juliet". After that he joined a Shakespeare group and went on tour through England. When their manager cleared off Frank R. Benson took over the group and startet with it his career as an acting teacher.

He got married with the actress Gertrude Constance Featherstonhaugh in 1886.

In the next years he concentrated on plays by William Shakespeare and his company toured also in Canada and South Africa.

He founded his own acting school in 1901 and in 1916 followed an other height in his career when he was knighted in 1916 by King Georve V after his performance as Julius Cäsar.

Frank R. Benson made his film debut in 1911 with the filmed stage performances "The Taming of the Shrew" (11), "Richard III" (11), "Macbeth" (11) and "Julius Cäsar" (11). His last movie was "Becket" (23).

Beside his activity as an actor he also directed the movies "The Taming of the Shrew" (11), "Richard III" (11) and "Julius Cäsar" (11).