How a Love Triangle Brought Down the Career of Adele Rowland

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Adele Rowland (1883-1971), born July 10. Born and raised in Washington DC, Rowland was already appearing in musical comedies on Broadway by 1904 and was a near-annual fixture on the Great White Way through 1922. As a soloist in vaudeville she sang “story songs” in the approved manner and was a well-known performer prized for her buoyant personality.

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The song she was most associated with was “Pack Up Your Troubles”, which she introduced to audiences in 1915.

Rowland’s first husband was fellow Broadway performer Charles Ruggles. She enjoyed (or suffered) a new burst of notoriety in 1917 when she was caught in flagrante delicto with married thespian Conway Tearle. As a result, Tearle divorced his wife and married Rowland. After 1922, Rowland’s vaudeville and Broadway career was essentially over, although she did make one (unsuccessful) comeback attempt at the Palace in 1928. She lived with her husband Tearle in Hollywood where he had a flourishing career as a film actor. After he passed away in 1938, she nabbed a handful of small film roles for herself, ending in 1950.

To find out more about  the history of vaudeville, including performers like Adele Rowland, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

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