Rags Ragland: Bouncer, Boxer, Burlesque Banana

7143195_125077926958

Rags Ragland (born John Lee Morgan Beauregard Ragland on this day in 1905) was a Minsky’s burlesque comedian who was often a foil to Phil Silvers. A former boxer and truck driver, he often played big, dumb galoots. In the early 40s he was a familiar face in MGM comedies, but it all came crashing to a halt when he returned from boozing it up with Orson Welles in Mexico during his It’s All True phase and collapsed during a rehearsal. He died several days later of alcohol related kidney failure. The year was 1946; Rags was only 41.

To find out more about these variety artists and the history of vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

safe_image

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.