Footlights and Spotlights*

Otis Skinner's Exits and Entrances

The Story. At the age of 18, Otis A. Skinner broached his plans for a stage career to his conservative clergyman father and his artistic mother. They laughed heartily. They could not foresee this awkward youth of bad diction and poor carriage as anything but ludicrous behind the footlights' all-revealing glare. Nevertheless, young Otis was sent to a friend of the family, who gave the youth a noncommittal letter, running as follows :

To whom it May Concern:

The bearer, O. A. Skinner, Esq.,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!