Today is the birthday of Julius Steger (1866-1959), best known in vaudeville for his one act melodrama playlet “The Fifth Commandment”, a popular hit for the first 20 years of the twentieth century. In the play, the Austrian born Steger played a street musician with a distinguished past who is rescued from a life of penury by his unwitting daughter. He also appeared in several Broadway shows beteen 1890 and 1914. In 1915 he broke into the film business with an adapatation of “The Fifth Commandment”. This led to dozens of other films in which he either acted, directed, wrote or produced, through 1923.
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 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