Today is the birthday of silent screen actor Cullen Landis (1896-1975). The Nashville native began his career in 1916 at the age of 18 and was a popular leading man through the end of the silent era in scores of now-forgotten films like Pioneer Trails (1921) and Sweet Rosie O’Grady (1923). He also made three talkies, before deciding the new medium wasn’t for him. In the late twenties, he attempted a run at vaudeville which wasn’t very successful. In 1930 he left Hollywood for good to direct industrial films in Detroit.
To find out more 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