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Rose Eytinge

Reportedly the first American theater actress to earn a three-figure salary, Rose Eytinge was praised for her fiery, passionate performances. Eytinge began acting at age seventeen, performing in Albany and New York City with actors like Edwin Booth and E.L. Davenport. On a performance tour stop in Washington, she was invited to the White House by President Abraham Lincoln, who attended several of her performances. Known for taking on physically demanding roles, Eytinge created the role of Laura Courtland in Augustin Daly’s Under the Gaslight, hacking her way out of a locked toolshed and rescuing a Civil War veteran from an oncoming train. In 1869 she married George H. Butler, the US Consul General to Egypt, and lived abroad with him for two years. She divorced him in 1873 on charges of abuse, but incorporated her experience in Egypt (and props from her travels) into her role as Shakespeare’s Cleopatra in 1880. Eytinge joined the Union Square Theatre Company in New York after her divorce and continued to perform there until her retirement in 1907. In 1905 she published her autobiography, Memories of Rose Eytinge, detailing her life in the theater and her adventures in Egypt.

More on: Theater
Rose Eytinge
Full image
Rose Eytinge.
Photograph from Shakespeare's Heroines on the Stage, by Charles Edgar Lewis Wingate, 1895.
Date of Birth
November 21, 1835
Place of Birth
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date of Death
December 20, 1911

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rose Eytinge ." (Viewed on January 19, 2018) <>.


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