Skip to main content

Gillette, William

William Gillette (jəlĕt´), 1853–1937, American actor and dramatist, b. Hartford, Conn. His New York debut in Mark Twain's Gilded Age (1877) was shortly followed by his own first play, The Professor (1881). In the same year Esmeralda, written with Frances Hodgson Burnett, established his success. Held by the Enemy (1886) was the first of his popular Civil War plays, the second being Secret Service (1896). Both won him high personal praise. With Sherlock Holmes (1899), however, Gillette scored his lasting triumph, creating a play and a character with which he was permanently associated. He was one of the first to profess that an actor should build his characterization on the dominant qualities of his own personality.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Gillette, William." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 11 Dec. 2018 <>.

"Gillette, William." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (December 11, 2018).

"Gillette, William." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 11, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.