The first well known comedic actor was Quintus Roscius, who lived from around 126-62 BC. He was a slave who eventually succeeded in buying his freedom. He was known to have brought comedy away from a crass, clown-like style to something more that would be about presentation and using wit in humor. He became something of a pop star, where even various well known Roman politicians patronized him and he became a fairly wealthy man through his acting ability, perhaps the first known person to have done so. By 55 BC, large purpose-built theaters began to appear throughout the Roman Empire (Figure 2). Actors were often foreign and usually of a low status, despite the success of Roscius, often not being citizens since acting was still seen as something beneath a Roman citizen, eventthough it was enjoyed now by the masses. What Roscius did do is influence the style of acting in forthecoming Roman comedy, primairly where acting became about oration and presentation using gestures as well as using words and wit. Women were often not allowed to take leading roles, usually being relegated to non-speaking roles in plays and comedies.
[[File:RomanTheatre.jpg|thumb|Figure 2. Theatre in the Roman Empire brought entertainment, including comedies, to the masses. ]]