Edwin Booth, son of the previously mentioned Junius Brutus and brother to the reviled John Wilkes, is considered by some historians to be American’s greater theater actor. Edwin help usher in a new era of naturalistic acting as a reaction to his father’s more histrionic style. Mostly he performed in the works of Shakespeare, as the most literate works of the time.
The writer George Plimpton, in an interview, told a story in which he believed Edwin uttered the greatest ad-lib in theater history.
It seems that the play required Edwin to be shot from behind. Except, his costar could not get the prop gun to fire. After an agonizing minute or two, the anonymous actor strode forward and kicked Edwin in the ass. To which Edwin replied, “My God, the shoe is poisoned!” and he fell dead.