Two generations of William Cartwrights were players.
The elder William Cartwright belonged to the Admiral's men in 1598. As (apparently) a hired man, he played minor parts in "Fortune's Tennis, Part 2 (part unnamed), the revival of The Battle of Alcazar (a Moor, Pisano); and "1 Tamar Cham" ("a nobleman, an attendant, a hostage, a captain, and a Bohar") (Nungezer, p. 86). He remained with the company through their changes of patronage (Prince Henry's men, Palsgrave's men). He is last known to be a member of the King's Revels, for which his parts were those of a senior character, for example the emperor Claudius in Messallina, the Roman Empress, 1640. At Dulwich College, there is a picture of "'Old Mr. Cartwright, actor; in a gilt frame" (Nungezer, p. 87, citing G. F. Warner).
The younger William Cartwright is first noticed in theater records of the King's Revels, where his father (Cartwright the elder) was still an active player. He played with the company of Queen Henrietta (Salisbury Court) "from 1637 to the closing of the playhouses in 1642" (Nungezer, p. 87). He returned to playing after the Restoration, as a member of His Majesty's Company of Comedians at the Theatre Royal. Samuel Pepys saw him in many productions. Like his father, the younger Cartwright provided a collection of pictures, now at Dulwich College. He died in 1686.
Nungezer provides a poignant historical tag to the combined professional lives of the Cartwrights: "The careers of the two Cartwrights cover almost a century of stage history, and form a link between Edward Alleyn of the Fortune and Thomas Betterton of Drury Lane (p. 89).