Today is the birthday of Louise Fazenda (1895-1962). This adorable Indiana native was hired away from Universal by Mack Sennett in 1915 to play country girls mostly, feisty female rubes with an outsized sense of decency. One of the mostly frequently screened of her Sennett comedies today is Fatty’s Tintype Tangle, in which she plays an innocent stranger accidentally photographed in the park with Fatty Arbuckle, causing marital trouble aplenty.
After leaving Sennett in the early twenties, she tried her hand at vaudeville for several months, then played dramatic roles in features for most of the major studios. In 1927, she married famed Warner Brothers producer Hal B. Wallis and continued to act for another dozen years before retiring to concentrate on her philanthropic activities.
To learn more about Louise Fazenda and silent and slapstick comedy please check out 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 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.
She has been one of my all-time favorite comediennes of that era. She made a seamless transition into the talkies.