Today is the birthday of silent comedian Wallace Lupino (1898-1961). Like his better known brother Lupino Lane he was a member of the distinguished Lupino family of comedy acrobats, with a history of performing stretching back into the 18th century. (Yes, Ida Lupino was also a member of that family). He grew up performing in the music halls of England, then came to Hollywood in the mid-twenties to appear in silent pictures with his brother, mostly for Educational Pictures. When talkies came in, the pair repaired to England, where (Wallace) Lupino continued to appear in films until 1945.
Wallace’s uncle, music hall and film comedian and Mark Lupino (1889-1930) was also born on January 23.
This 1929 silent short stars Lupino Lane: Wallace plays the piano playing neighbor:
For more on silent and slapstick comedy don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc
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.