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William B. Mack (1874-1955)
Prominent state actor during early 20th Century.

1907 Review. Added Nov., 2009.

The Actors' Birthday Book (1907)


An actor who as come conspicuously before the New York public in recent seasons, William B. Mack is fast gaining an excellent reputation as one of our best character actors and many bright prophesies are made for his future. He was born in Bay City, Mich., and served his stage apprenticeship in various traveling and stock companies, finally joining the forces of Clay Clements, with whom he appeared in “The New Dominion” and “A Southern Gentleman.” After this he was with Walker Whiteside in repertoire for several seasons, and then came his Broadway debut, the season of 1902-03, in the support of Mrs. Fiske, playing Simon in “Mary of Magdala.” Mr. Mack remained in the support of Mrs. Fiske until December, 1906, and many were the successes that came to him while in her company.

It was the night of October 5, 1903, that saw his first big triumph, when he played Tesman in “Hedda Gabler,” all the critics giving him praise for this portrayal, and a year later he knew additional fame for his Schram in “Leah Kleschna.” Among some of the other roles that Mr. Mack played under the Fiske management were Guiseppe in “Divorcons,” Phil McDonnel in “A Bit of Old Chelsea.” Dr. Rank in “A Doll's House,” Pitt Crawley in “Becky Sharp,” Didier in “The Eyes of the Heart,” Father Bertrand in “A Light from St. Agnes,” Mr. Trowbridge in “Mary Versus John,” and William Sudley in “The New York Idia,” a most versatile list of roles. After deserting the Fiske camp, he played Stephen Roland in “The Truth,” supporting Clar Bloodgood, and was then with Alia Nazimova, playing his former role in “Hedda Gabler.” An actor who has accomplished a great deal, Mr. Mack, unless the predictions of wiseacres go astray, will be a leading light among to-morrow's greatest character actors in this county.

1913 Review. Added Nov., 2009.

The American Magazine, Vol. 150 (Jun. - Dec. 1913)

The Theater

How Actors, Authors and Producers Divide the People's Money.

(Excerpt from page 52.)

For the male heavy the manager has scheduled Wilton Lackaye first and George Nash second. Lackaye, he knows would not look at the part for less than $500 a week, and if he could get Nash $150 he would consider it a bargain. There is a character role that Henry Dixie could play beautifully, but $500 a week would be Dixey's price. It would take as much or nearly as much, at that to lure William H. Thompson away from vaudeville. William B. Mack might play it – for $350, -- but there are so many Mack parts, these days of the crook drama, it would be pretty hard to get Mack. Which, the manager explains, is one serious thing that is wrong with the casting of a drama to-day --- there are too many parts named after actors; parts that once a producer has them fixed in his head as representing an actor like Mack, or Bruce McRae, or Julian L'Estrange, no one else seems to fit. That is one the things that has boosted salaries unfairly.

The rest of the cast is comparatively easy. There are plenty of butlers and maids and character “bit actors, and a good selection of the ordinary ingenue and juvenile types, thought for these last the prices range from $85 to $150.

1914 Review. Added Nov., 2009.

Who's Who in Music and Drama.


Born Bay City, Mich.; ed. in native city.

His first theatrical engagement was in the support of Harry Townsend, a Shakespearian actor popular in earlier days of Am. Theatricals. Concluding this engagement he appeared on tour with a number of small cos., presenting a wide range of plays, eventually appearing with Clay Clement, with whom he remained two seasons, appearing in The New Dominion and A Southern Gentleman.

After a seaon in California stock cos., appeared with Walker Whiteside on tour, making his New York debut as Simon, with Mrs. Fiske in Mary of Magdals, Manhattan, New York, Nov. 19, 1902, with whom he appeared on tour, appearing also as Tesman in Hedda Gabler, as Schram in Leah Kleschna, as Giuseppe in Divorcons, as Dr. Rank in A Doll's House, as Father Bertrand in A light From St. Agnes, as Pitt Crawley in Becky Sharp, as Phil McDonald in A Bit of Old Chelsea, as Didlier in The Eyes of the Heart, as Mr. Trowbridge in Mary vs. John, as William Sudley in The New York Idea, and other important roles in her rep., 1902-06.

His next engagement was as Stephen Roland with Clara Bloodgood in The Truth Criterion, New York, Jan. 7, 1907, after which he repeated many of his form parts in the support of Mm. Nazimova, when that actress made her first appearance in English at the Bijou, New York, Mar. to June, 1907. He also appeared as Helmer, with Ethel Barrymore in A Doll's House, and thereafter appeared as Dick Richards in Society and the Bull Dog., Daly's New York, Jan. 18, 1908, and in Brewster's Millions, on tour, 1908; as Marsh in Via Wireless, Liberty, New York, Nov. 2, 1908; with Mabel Taliaferro on tour, 1909; in the Spendthrift (then named Waste), on tour, 1909; as George Cowper in The Gamblers, Maxine Elliot's, New York, Oct. 31, 1910; as The General with Dustin and William Farnum in The Littlest Rebel, Liberty, New York, Nov. 14, 1911; as Jose Garson in Within The Law, Princess, Chicago, Apr. 6, 1912, later Eltinge, New York, Sept. 11, 1912.
-- Permanent address: The Lambs, New York.

Miscellaneous reviews. Added Nov., 2009.

1900 – The Muse: A Little Book of Art & Letters.

The lines “Lost,” on page one of this issue, are by William B. Mack, the versatile young actor, who while a member of Mr. Landers Stevens Stock Co., of this city, made a host of friends to whom his departure was a source of keen regret. I have word from him that he is at present with the Walker-Whiteside Co., touring the Northwest.

1905 - Everybody's Magazine, Vol. 12

(Excerpt from Page 386.)

Mrs. Fiske seems to live the role of Leah; her every mannerisms fit into it. With intense repression and exquisite skill she makes plain the workings of Leah's mind and gives one of the finest performances of her distinguished career. John Mason stands out as the reformer. William B. Mack, whose Tesman divided honors with Mrs. Fiske in “Hedda Gabler,” thereby lifting him out of obscurity, as Schram, the lesser thief, strong only in his love of Leah, again proved himself a good character actor.

1905 – Current Literature, Vol. 36

“A light from St. Agnes” comes very near being a masterpiece in its own field. Indeed, it is seldom that one-act play has half the dramatic power that this tragic little story of how life among the bayous of Louisiana has. As acted by John Maxon, William B. Mack and Fernanda Eliscu it gripped and thrilled the audience as few things have done this season.

1908 – The Master, Mate and Pilot, Vol. 1

Captain Patton's initial performance took place at the National Theatre in Washington, where President Rooselvelt, his wife and daughter occupied a stage box, and enough other notables were present to unnerve experienced actors. Patton has no stage fright on that occasion nor has he betrayed any sign of self-consciousness since. He plays himself – that is, he impersonates the sailing master of the steam yacht Irvessa, the maneuvers of which contribute a great deal to the effect of the dramatic story. Along with such experienced actors as Edwin Arden, William B. Mack, Frank Monroe, Joseph Kauiman and others, he scores at every performance as an actor of more than ordinary ability.

1916 – Donahoe's Magazine, Vol. 52

(Reference: Play “Divorcons.”)

With this star, Mr. Fiske (Harrison Grey Fiske) has associated Mr. George Arliss who looks like Joseph Chamberlain, and seems to like the resemblance. This actor won a reputation a long time ago for various kinds of good work, and recently helped the success of Belasco's Japanese play, a very good one, whose name escapes the memory. John Mason and William B. Mack head a company of twenty, most of them people of experience and skill.

1919 - Theatre Magazine, Vol. 30

REPUBLIC. “A Voice in the Dark.” Melodrama in three acts by Ralph E. Dyar. Produced on July 28 with this cast:

Miss Gridley – Doris Kelly; Sara Cloyd – Frank Monroe; Robert Ferrel – W. L. Thorne; Harlan Day – William Boyd; Tom Hemmingway – Steward E. Wilcon; Adel Warren – George Lee Hall; Blanche Warren – Olive Wyndham; Mrs. Maria Lydiard – Florine Arnold; Amelia Ellingham – Arleen Hackett; Miss Meredith – Harriet Ross; Hugh Sainsbury – Richard Gordon; Madge Conroy – Anne Sutherland; John Malone – John Sharkey; Joe Crampton – William B. Mack; The Coroner -- John Ravold; Tip Wilkius – William Phinuey; Doctor Franklin – Rexford Kendrick.

1922 - The Smart Set: A Magazine of Cleverness, Vol. 69

(Reference: The play “Rose Bernd” by Hauptmann.)

To the role of Rose, Miss Barrymore brings a new and surprising resource: her performance, save perhaps in the exaggeration of the last act scene of confession, marks the top rung of her achievement. McKay Morris is a good Streckmann, but the rest of the support is exceedingly weak. William B. Mack sucks in the blows out the lines of the pious father's role as if it were a somewhat bitter stogie.

Additional Notes.

    Theiapolis.com website.
  • Shows William B. Mack was born William B. McGillicuddy, in Bay City, Michigan, and his death taking place on Tuesday, Sept. 13th, 1955, age 83 years old, Islip, Long Island, New York.
    -- Comments: The only record found for a William B. McGillicuddy was a child born and died on April 8, 1874, in Bay City. A record was found for William Mack, b. 1874, in Bay City, parents John & Margaret (Rice) Mack..

    1874 - Birth Record Bay City, Mich.

  • William Basil McGillicuddy, b. 8 Apr. 1874, d. 8 Apr. 1874.
  • Parents: John Francis McGillicuddy and Margaret Rice.
  • Source: FamilySearch.com

    1880 - Census Bay City, Mich.
    Residence: 4th Ward.

  • Mack, John F., age 36, b. Mass., boiler maker.
  • Margurette, wife, age 33, b. England.
  • Jerremiah B., son, age 13, b. Rhode Island, store clerk.
  • Mary, daughter, age 11, b. Rhode Isloand, at home.
  • William, son, age 6, b. Mich., at home.
  • Margurette, daughter, ag3 4m, Mich., at home.
  • Ellen, sister, age 33, b. Mass., at home.

    1896 Directory: Bay City, Mich.

  • McGillicuddy, Jeremiah - laborer Ross, Bradley & Co, res 509 14th.
  • McGillicuddy, John F. - boilermakr, res 509 14th.
  • McGillicuddy, Mary, bds 509 14th.

    1900 - Census Oakland City, Almeada, Calif.

  • Address: 404 12th Street.
  • Mack, William B., boarder, b. Apr., 1874, Mich., actor. (Note: Over 20 people listed as boarders at this home, including several employees.)
Related Pages/Notes
William B. Mack

As Schram the thief in
"Leah Kleschna."

As Joe Crampton in the play "A Voice in the Dark."

  • Born Apr. 8, 1872, Bay City, MI.
  • Died Sep. 13, 1955, Islip. NY.
    Related Pages:
    Theater History
    Theatrical News History
  • People Referenced
    Arden, Edwin
    Arliss, George
    Arnold, Florine
    Barrymore, Ethel
    Boyd, William
    Clements, Clay
    Dixie, Henry
    Dustin, Mr.
    Dyar, Ralph E.
    Eliscu, Fernanda
    Farnum, William
    Fiske, Mrs.
    Fiske, Harrison G.
    Gordon, Richard
    Hackett, Arleen
    Hall, George L.
    Kauiman, Joseph
    Kelley, Doris
    Kendrick, Rexford
    Lackaye, Wilton
    L'Estrange, Julian
    Mack, Ellen (aunt)
    Mack, Jeremey (bro.)
    Mack, John F. (father)
    Mack, Mary (sister)
    Mack, Margurette, (sister)
    Mack, William B.(subject)
    - aka: McGillicuddy
    Mason, John
    McGillicuddy, Jeremiah
    McGillicuddy, John F.
    McGillicuddy, Mary
    McRae, Bruce
    Monroe, Frank
    Morris, McKay
    Nash, George
    Nazimova, Alia
    Patton, Capt.
    Phinuey, William
    Ravold, John
    Rice, Margaret (mother?)
    Rooselvelt, Pres.
    Ross, Harriet
    Sharkey, John
    Stevens, Landers
    Sutherland, Anne
    Thompson, William H.
    Thorn, W.L.
    Townsend, Harry
    Whiteside, Walker
    Wilcon, Steward E.
    Wyndham, Olive
    Subjects Referenced
    Bay City, MI
    Chicago, IL
    Liberty, NY
    Manhattan, NY
    Stevens Stock Co.
    Walker-Whiteside Co.
    Washington, DC
    Internet Resources
    New York Times
    Nov. 11, 1907
    Won' Burlesque "Gran Army Man"
    May Irwin to Join Company
    -- Jose Weber's producton of the burlesque on "A Grand Armny Man," David Field's new play, which was announced for next Thursday evening, may be indefinitely postponed. Accordering to a report on good authority last night Mr. Weber was dissatisfied with the interpretation of Edgar Smith's skit and informed the members of the company tht he would shelve the burlesque and probably consider a new one by Mr. Smith on the more lively subject, "A Merry Widow."
    -- The burlesque, which was entitled "A Grand R. R. Man," was to introduce William B. Mack and Earnest Lamson as new members of the cast. Mr. Weber was to play the part of Rober, the inventive son; Mr. Bernard that of Lelitia, and William B. Mack that of Capt. Brown.
    -- There will probably be no change in the play "Hip! Hip! Hooray!" for the next two weeks. It has been rumored that several changes will be amde in the present cast and that May Irwin may become a member of the company.
    New York Times
    Aug. 12, 1908
    Frederick Thompson has engaged Georgie Drew Mendum, William B. Mack, Frank Monroe, and John Miltern for the four leading roles in "By Wireless," the new Thomason-Armstrong drama which comes to the Liberty Theatre on Nov. 4. He has also completed the cast to support Elsa Ryan in William Gillette's new play, "Ticey."
    Play "Daybreak."
    -- When there's a murder to be done, of course, the managerial mind turns to William B. Mack, whose ami -- and acting -- proves to be as sure inthe role of Peterson as in "Within the Law." [The Green Book Magazine, 1917]
    [-] Listing of productions & plays with date. [ibdb.com]
    [-] The American Magazine (1913), has many interesting stories. [Google Books]
    WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.