Lawrence Barrett (1838-1891), American actor, was born of Irish parents in Paterson, New Jersey, on the 4th of April 1838. His family name was Brannigan. He made his first stage appearance at Detroit as Murad in The French Spy in 1853. In December 1856 he made his first New York appearance at the Chambers Street theatre as Sir Thomas Clifford in The Hunchback. In 1858 he was in the stock company at the Boston Museum. He served with distinction in the Civil War as captain in the 28th Massachusetts infantry regiment. From 1867 to 1870, with John McCullough, he managed the California theatre, San Francisco. Among his many and varied parts may be mentioned Hamlet, Lear, Macbeth, Shylock, Richard III., Wolsey, Benedick, Richelieu, David Garrick, Hernani, Alfred Evelyn, Lanciotto in George Henry Boker's (1823-1890) Francesca da Rimini, and James Harebell in The Man o' Airlie. He played Othello to Booth's Iago and Cassius to his Brutus. He acted in London in 1867, 1881, 1883 and 1884, his Richelieu in Bulwer Lytton's drama being considered his best part.

He wrote a life of Edwin Forrest in the American Actors Series (Boston, 1881), and an admirable sketch of Edwin Booth in Edwin Booth and his Contemporaries (Boston, 1886). He died on the 20th of March 1891.