Klein, Charles, 1867-1915

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British-born American playwright.

From the description of Charles Klein Plays, 1900-1921. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122494160

The playwright Charles Klein was born in London, England, on 7 January 1867. He was one of four sons of Hermann Klein, a professor of languages, and the former Adelaide Soman. All four brothers had careers in the performing arts: Hermann was a singing teacher and music critic, Alfred became an actor, and Manuel was musical director of the New York Hippodrome and a composer who collaborated on the operetta Mr. Pickwick (1903) with Charles.

Klein immigrated to the United States at the age of sixteen, as he said, "to carve out my own career." He made up his mind to become a dramatist and decided the best way to learn stagecraft was to get experience as an actor. He began in amateur theatricals and later moved to the professional stage, playing the juvenile parts for which his small stature was suited, including the title role in Little Lord Fauntleroy . In 1888 he married Lillian Gottlieb and they had one son, Philip.

In 1890 he was given an opportunity to revise a play he was appearing in, and from then on his dramatic output was continual. Many of his works were written in collaboration with other dramatists or adapted from novels. His early plays were mostly comedies, operettas, and farces, but after the turn of the century, he gravitated toward melodrama and strove for more of a social purpose. Among his most successful works were two librettos for operettas by John Philip Sousa, El Capitan (1895), with lyrics by Thomas Frost, and The Charlatan (1898); the operetta Red Feather (1903), written with composer Reginald De Koven and lyricist Charles Emerson Cook and produced by Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.; The Auctioneer (1901), written with Lee Arthur and produced by David Belasco as a starring vehicle for David Warfield; The Music Master (1904), also written for Warfield; The Lion and the Mouse (1905); The Third Degree (1909); The Gamblers (1910); and Potash and Perlmutter (1913), written with Montague Glass.

Between 1912 and 1929 several of the plays were made into silent films; The Gamblers, for example, was filmed at least four times. He also novelized some of his plays in order to capitalize on their popularity.

In addition to writing plays, Klein worked as a play reader and censor for producer and theater owner Charles Frohman. The pair were sailing on the Lusitania on 7 May 1915 when the liner was sunk by a German U-boat and both lost their lives.

From the guide to the Charles Klein Plays TXRC03-A20., 1900-1921, (The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Drawings for the London Stage Collection, 1886-1924, 1886-1897 Yale Center for British Art
creatorOf Klein, Charles, 1867-1915. Maggie Pepper / by Charles Klein. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Stark, Samuel. Theatre scrapbook collection, 1860-1950. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Klein, Charles, 1867-1915. The music master. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Klein, Charles, 1867-1915. The cipher code. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Klein, Manuel, 1876-1919. Mr. Pickwick [collection] : a musical comedy / book by Chas. Klein ; lyrics by Grant Stewart ; music by Manuel Klein. University of Wisconsin - Madison, General Library System
referencedIn Dailey Paskman papers, 1904-1939, 1924-1929 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Klein, Charles, 1867-1915. The daughters of men [microform] : a play in three acts / by Charles Klein. University of Missouri -- Columbia, MU Libraries; University of Missouri; MU; Ellis Library; University of Missouri Columbia
referencedIn David Belasco papers, 1868-1967 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Charles Klein Plays TXRC03-A20., 1900-1921 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Klein, Charles, 1867-1915. "The battle of the giants," by Charles Klein ... New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Furst, William, 1852-1917. The music master [music] : [a play in three acts / words by Charles Klein ; music by William Furst]. Libraries Australia
creatorOf Francis, William T. A royal rogue [collection] / written by Charles Klein ; music by William T. Francis ; lyrics by Grant Stewart. University of Wisconsin - Madison, General Library System
creatorOf Klein, Charles, 1867-1915. Charles Klein Plays, 1900-1921. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Klein, Charles, 1867-1915. The music master : typescript, after 1904. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf De Koven, Reginald, 1859-1920. Red feather [collection] : a comic opera in two acts / the book by Chas. Klein ; the lyrics by Chas. Emerson Cook ; the music by Reginald De Koven. University of Wisconsin - Madison, General Library System
referencedIn C. J. Bulliet Papers, 1899-1952. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Bulliet, C. J. (Clarence Joseph), 1883-1952. C. J.Bulliet papers, 1899-1952. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Klein, Charles, 1867-1915. The lion and the mouse [microform] : a play in four acts / by Charles Klein. University of Missouri -- Columbia, MU Libraries; University of Missouri; MU; Ellis Library; University of Missouri Columbia
creatorOf Klein, Charles, 1867-1915. "The third degree;" a play in four acts, by Charles Klein. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Stark, Samuel. Theatre scrapbook collection., 1860-1950 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
creatorOf Herbert, Joseph, 1863-1923. Burlesque of "The music master" / by Joseph Herbert ; staged by Mr. Herbert. New York Public Library System, NYPL
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Arthur, Lee. person
associatedWith Arthur, Lee. person
associatedWith Belasco, David, 1853-1931 person
associatedWith Bulliet, C. J. (Clarence Joseph), 1883-1952. person
associatedWith Cattermole, Charles, fl. 1859 person
associatedWith Clarke, Joseph Ignatius Constantine, 1846-1925 person
associatedWith Davis, Ruth Helen. person
associatedWith De Koven, Reginald, 1859-1920. person
associatedWith Francis, William T. person
associatedWith Frost, Thomas. person
associatedWith Frost, Thomas. person
associatedWith Furst, William, 1852-1917. person
associatedWith Glass, Montague, 1877-1934 person
associatedWith Herbert, Joseph, 1863-1923. person
associatedWith Klein, Lillian Gottlieb. person
associatedWith Klein, Lillian Gottlieb. person
associatedWith Klein, Manuel, 1876-1919. person
associatedWith Lucas, John Seymour, 1849-1923 person
associatedWith Paskman, Dailey person
associatedWith Samuel Stark person
associatedWith Society of American Dramatists and Composers. corporateBody
associatedWith Society of Lady Dramatists. corporateBody
associatedWith Sousa, John Philip, 1854-1932 person
associatedWith Stark, Samuel. person
associatedWith Stewart, Grant, 1866-1929 person
associatedWith Warfield, David. person
associatedWith Warfield, David. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
American drama (Comedy)
American drama--20th century
Dramatists, American
Theater--United States
Society of Lady Dramatists
Drama (American)
American farces
Drama--Collections
Musicals
Society of American Dramatists and Composers
Melodrama, American
Theater
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1867-01-07

Death 1915-05-07

Male

English

Information

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