Today is the birthday of Raymond François Émile Marie Pierre Frau (1887-1953), a.k.a. Raymond Dandy, a.k.a. Ovaro a.k.a Kri Kri a.k.a. Dandy a.k.a. Bloomer. The son of an Italian father and a French mother, he was born and spent his childhood in Africa and the French Riviera, settling in Paris by his teenager years. At 13 he became a clown and acrobat in the circus and began using the names Raymond Dandy and Ovaro.
From 1912 through 1916, he made 140 slapstick comedy films at the Cines studio in Rome, portraying the comedy character Kri Kri. He then worked in French music hall (including the Moulin Rouge) for many years, and appeared in several more silent comedies in paris and Vienna throughout the late teens and twenties, billed as Dandy. In the 30s and 40s he appeared at the Casino de Paris and the Folies Bergere, and performed in a handful of talkies in supporting roles.
Here he is in Il sogno di Kri Kri (1913):
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
To learn 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.