Julia Rooney: Pat’s Daughter

Today is the birthday of Julia Rooney. Born in 1887, she was a daughter of the famous Pat Rooney, Sr. and was thus a member of an important vaudeville dynasty. From approximately 1895 through 1910 she performed in a sister act with her sister Josie, then went solo when Josie eloped with a tightrope walker. She worked as a single for a few years before marrying and becoming the vaudeville partner of singer and bandleader Walter Clinton (pictured with Julia above). Julia played piano and sang with the act, which included a ten piece orchestra and worked the circuits from 1915 through 1926. After vaudeville folded, Julia became a mainstay of Ken Murray’s Blackouts (1942-1950). She was to live on another 40 years, passing away just a little short of her 103rd birthday in 1990.

To find out more about  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.

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2 comments

  1. I thought you might find it interesting, that Julia lived with my family in our apartment building in Glendale, California when I was growing up through her last years and until her death. She was with us over a decade. She taught me to sing when I was a little girl. Almost every day I would sit and listen to her play the piano and she would make me a “sarsaparilla” to drink! She received birthday cards every year from many movie stars including Bobe Hope! She would line then up on her piano. What a sight to see! She told me that she once danced for the King of England! (Did you catch that — I said KING, not queen! I think it was George the V. ) Her rooms were decorated with the most beautiful authentic old Hollywood furniture and Bling you could imagine. She was a very sweet and talented lady who enriched my life for knowing her!

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    • what a wonderful memory! thank you for sharing! It’s an amazing connection to a performing dynasty that goes back to the days of gaslight and stagecoaches

      Like

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