Today is the birthday of Steve Condos (1918-1990), the youngest of the three tap dancing Greek-American Condos Brothers, which also including Nick and Frank. Originally from Pittsburgh, then Philly (where they picked up steps at the African American vaudeville house the Standard Theatre), they eventually moved to NYC. Frank was the oldest, and it was he who trained Frank and Steve and made the pair of younger brothers into an act. Nick was the speed and flash man; Steve was more about melody and rhythm. The duo danced in what was left of vaudeville and with swing bands in the 30s and 40s, and also appeared in several Hollywood films, like Wake Up and Live (1937), Happy Landing (1938), In the Navy (1941), and Pin-Up Girl (1944). Nick left the act in the mid 40s to manage his wife Martha Raye. As a soloist, Steve continued to perform in movies like The Time, the Place and the Girl (1946), and She’s Back on Broadway (1953), and Broadway shows like Heaven on Earth (1948), Say Darling (1948) and Sugar (1972). In his last months, he appeared in the film Tap (1988) and a gave a special performance at Carnegie Hall (1989).
Here they are at work:
To find out more about vaudeville past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
For more on silent and slapstick comedy please see 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