Klein’s portrayal of Lincoln brings this American icon to life. He bears a striking physical resemblance to Lincoln. His programs are thoroughly researched, historically accurate, and blend Lincoln’s humor with his great humanity. His ability to adapt to any audience and adapt his program’s content to your theme means that you are guaranteed to walk away with new insight into the man and a genuine sense that you have been with Lincoln himself.
To prepare for a performance, it takes about an hour with costume and make-up. However, if you happen to have Lincoln in mind, his natural resemblance to Abraham Lincoln can be quite convincing. Several years ago when visiting Washington D.C. he created something of a stir when he walked into Ford’s Theater, the place where Lincoln was shot. Though Klein was dressed in ordinary street attire, with his 6’3″ height and Quaker beard one woman screamed outright when she looked up to see him casually strolling down the stairs.
Actor Fritz Klein of Springfield, Illinois has been a professional actor and speaker for many years. His portrayal of Lincoln brings this American icon to life. Klein brings striking physical resemblance as well as historical accuracy, acting ability, humor, and relevance to the audience. Productions vary in content and length according to the need and character of the audience, but you will come away with new insight and the sense that you have been with Lincoln himself. Klein was first asked to portray Lincoln after performing as Lyman Beecher in a local history pageant in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i where he lived at the time. After a number of requests for repeat performances, he decided to begin extensive research in order to write a one-man production on Lincoln. That production has led to many others. He has since performed as Lincoln in 38 states and internationally as well. He and his wife Linda now reside in Springfield, Illinois where he performs at the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, as well as many other venues around the country. In the summer Klein plays Lincoln in a variety of venues in a program called “History Comes Alive. In 2011 Klein was featured in the National Park Service’s recreation of Lincoln’s Inaugural Journey, travelling from Springfield to Washington, DC. and performing for some 5,000 people enroute. Klein portrayed Lincoln in a feature entitled “Lost River” and four History Channel Lincoln Bicentennial spots, as well as the award-winning Lincoln film at the Lincoln Home National Park “Journey to Greatness” by Aperture films of Los Angeles. On President Obama’s Inauguration night, Klein was Lincoln in the first American showing of a German film called “Lincoln’s Last Night” produced by VIDICOM of Hamburg and again featured at the Smithsonian for the 2013 Inauguration. Klein was also featured in the 2013 Ford’s Theater exhibit put together by History Channel. Klein has also done numerous documentary and feature films for National Geographic, Discovery and History Channel including “Stealing Lincoln’s Body”, “Lincoln’s Secret Killer”, and “American Mastermind”. In 2013 the Smithsonian film, “Lincoln’sWashingtonWar” aired in 2013, on the Smithsonian Channel, and he appeared on National television with “Larry the Cable Guy”. In April 2015 a new documentary “Lincoln’s Last Day” aired on the Smithsonian Channel. Recent plays include a 2012 role in the Pulitzer – Prize nominated production “The Heavens Are Hung in Black” by James Still, and a 2014 appearance with actor Carlo Garcia in “Of Mutual Interest – Lincoln and Mexico” before Illinois Governor and delegates from Mexico. In the Fall of 2014 a new Ken Bradbury play about Lincoln’s assassination called “Last Full Measure” opened at Union Theater in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. That play will continue to run in locations around the country through 2016.
President Abraham Lincoln (Fritz Klein) speaks at the American Civil War memorial in Waterloo, New York. As keynote speaker at the annual Illumination Ceremony, He was asked to make some comments about the battles at Gettysburg and his part in the dedication of the cemetery. His comments conclude with his famous Gettysburg Address, recited as only the President could.
Here’s a clip of the grand finale!
This is a short recap of the 2015 ceremonies.