Stars of Vaudeville #724: Peaches Browning
Today is the birthday of Peaches Browning (Frances Belle Heenan, 1910-1956). In 1926 (do the math — she was 16), the young girl met (through a classified ad) and married (within weeks) real estate tycoon Edward “Daddy” Browning. Within a matter of months, an acrimonious divorce trial ensued which became one of the tabloid sensations of the era. Weird details came out. She wouldn’t consummate the marriage. He threw acid on her. He kept a live goose in their bedroom. When the smoke cleared, Peaches used her newfound fame to launch a lucrative vaudeville career. She married three more times.
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.
And 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