On This Day 10th January

Cuyler Hastings 1863 – JANUARY 10, 1914

Born in Parkhill, Ontario, Frederick Cuyler Hastings was a well-regarded actor on the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century New York stage. Although he was praised for his work in such plays as “The Woman” and “Girl of the Golden West,” he is best known for bringing the great Detective to Australia in J.C. Williamson’s production of William Gillette’s “Sherlock Holmes.” The Adelaide Advertiser of September 7, 1903 provided this description:
“A dark, handsome man, tall and of fine physique, with sternly-set, clear cut features, eyes ablaze with inward fires, alert one moment and vacuous the next, as his mind concentrates upon some complex problem, Mr. Hastings gives a wonderfully realistic interpretation of the detective celebrity. Face, figure, manner, and everything are amazingly like what readers of Conan Doyle’s stories would suppose Sherlock Holmes to be “
The handsome Hastings seems to have acquired a coterie of female fans, and Sydney gossips wondered if he might actually “call the banns” with one of them, a Miss Irene Marks.

Hastings went home to New York alone, however, and continued acting until an illness which left him partially paralyzed ended his career when he was only forty-nine. Despondent over this and rumored financial losses, he committed suicide by gunshot on this date in 1914. He left his Irene—now Mrs. Vivers—a bequest of $1,000.

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