This is of course a different lady from the famous high-society art patron who later became a Whitney. THIS Gertrude Vanderbilt was born in Brooklyn circa 1880 and broke into the theatre around 1894. She sang and danced in vaudeville (her dancing was especially praised by critics), was in several editions of the Ziegfeld Follies and in book musicals starting with George M. Cohan’s The Talk of New York (1907) and ending with Tabloid (1929). For a good chunk of her time in big time vaudeville she was teamed with a gentleman named George Moore. Her last date at the Palace was in 1926. With the coming of the Depression and hard times for theatre, ironically she concentrated on a business career and seems to have done well at it. She passed away in 1960.
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available 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, to be released by Bear Manor Media in 2013.