Grismer, Joseph R.

Joseph Grizmer
Official Club portrait of Joseph Grismer
Joseph Rhode Grismer (November 4, 1849 – March 3, 1922) was an American stage actor, playwright, and theatrical director and producer. He was probably best remembered for his play The New South and for his revision of the Charlotte Blair Parker play Way Down East.

He was twice married. His first wife was actress-playwright Phoebe Davies, who appeared in more than 4,000 performances of Way Down East. After her death he married actress Olive Emily Chamberlain in 1914.

During his later years Grismer served as a director for the Commercial Trust Company and treasurer of the Gulf Fisheries Company. He was a president of the Actors’ Order of Friendship and vice-president of the Actors Fund, a member of The Players, American Dramatists’ Club, Green Room Club, Bohemian Club, the Manhasset Bay and Larchmont Yacht clubs.

Grismer served two terms as shepherd of The Lambs in the World War One era. Though considered fractious by some, his tenures, 1911–1913 and 1917–1918, oversaw a doubling in the size of the 44th Street clubhouse. He saved the club from financial crises by advancing more than $30,000 without security. Grismer remained a member of the Council of The Lambs until the end of his life in 1922. He was tragically a victim of a car-pedestrian accident as he was crossing Broadway at 106th Street in Manhattan. He is interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx.

In 1933 Joseph Rhode Grismer was the second named to the list of Immortal Lambs.