Today is the birthday of James “Buster” West (1901-1966.) West was an eccentric dancer who started out in a vaudeville act with his parents. He worked with a variety of partners over the years, including his father John West, his wife Lucille Page, and Tom Patricola. His Broadway career kicked off with George Whites Scandals of 1926; his Hollywood career with a series of shorts launched in 1929. He continued to appear in vaudeville as long as it lasted, and well after, appearing at the Palace as late as 1935. After the 2nd World War his career slowed down, but he continued to work sporadically. His last Broadway show was The Pajama Game (1954-56); his last tv appearance was on The Lucy Show (1964).
To learn more history about the history of vaudeville, 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