The Industrial Revolution of the 1800 witnessed a huge surge in the demand for art and entertainment. Theatre gradually became a dominant force in the world of entertainment as more and more people embarked to make a career in acting. Interestingly, acting style in the early 19th century was prone to exaggerated movement, gestures, grandiose effects, spectacular drama, physical comedy and gags and outlandish costumes. It was from the middle of the 19th century, theatre began to take on a new respectability and draw in more middle class audiences. Pictorial drama was most sought after for its great use of properties, carefully studied costume detail and a fashionable interest in archaeology and history. In America, theatre was fuelled by the spirit of nationalism. Probably this explains as to why most of the American theatre of the era revolved around themes of patriotism, optimism and idealism. Furthermore, it was in the mid-19th century that theatres worldwide became sharply influenced by the classic English tradition, as Shakespearean play and other Standard English plays dominated the scene. The century marked the rise of some of the most famed and respected actors including George Burns, Groucho Marx, Boris Karloff, Fred Astaire and so on. With this section, find out some of the most famous actors of the 19th century.