Today is the birthday of Frederick “Fritz”Williams (1865-1930). Williams was a performer since childhood, singing in concert saloons and playing violin in the orchestra at Tony Pastor’s. In the early 1890s he began acting in plays produced by the Frohmans, getting to work with the likes of Booth and Boucicault. Around the turn of the century he appeared in the Weber and Fields shows Fiddle-Dee-Dee and Hoity-Toity. In his 37 year career he was to appear in close to 3 dozen Broadway shows.
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