Herbert Clifton: A Female Impersonator Who Performed With His Wife

Today is the birthday of British female impersonator Herbert Clifton (1885-1947). He was unique in his field in being straight, married and somewhat plump. His strengths were in his characterizations and the beauty of his singing voice, with his wife accompanying him on piano. He first came to American vaudeville in 1910. By 1914 he was a featured act in the Ziegfeld Follies. When vaudeville died, he went went into pictures, paying mostly bit roles (such as butlers and chauffeurs) in straight attire. He worked until his death in 1947.

To find out more about the variety arts past and presentconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famousavailable at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. And don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, released by Bear Manor Media in 2013.

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