Stars of Vaudeville #335: Helen Broderick

Originally posted in 2011. 

The mother of Broderick Crawford, and herself a familiar sight in Hollywood films of the 1930s and 40s, Helen Broderick’s claim to vaudeville lay in her 15 year membership in the team of Crawford and Broderick (her partner and husband was Broderick Crawford’s father). Born August 11, 1891, she was cast in the very first Ziegfeld Follies in 1907 (you do the math; she was very young). The 20s saw her seguing from vaudeville into Broadway stardom in shows like 50 Million Frenchmen and The Bandwagon. This transitioned nicely into a Hollywood career that often paired with Victor Moore, often in Astaire and Rogers musicals. Her last film was in 1946; she passed away in 1959.

Here she is with William Gaxton in Olsen and Johnson’s Fifty Million Frenchmen:

To find out more about  the history of vaudevilleconsult 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 Mediaalso available from etc etc etc


2 Responses to “Stars of Vaudeville #335: Helen Broderick”

  1. Joseph Logue Says:

    I just watched Top Hat the other night and truly enjoyed her performance. She had that certitude about her comic timing, honed over the years, that makes you admire and applaud.

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