George Ovey

5007416_1_l

Today is the birthday of George Ovey (George Overton Odell, 1870-1951). Missouri native Ovey had been end man with a minstrel company for over a decade in 1915 when pioneering film producer David Horsley hired him to clown in his Made in America Films. Within months, Ovey was starring as one “Jerry” in Horsley’s single reel Cub Comedies. Horsley’s checkered-trousered, derby hatted character was none too subtle, but he continued to play variations on him in starring films for a variety of studios through 1920, first the Cub Comedies, then Universal, then Gayety and then an obscure outfit called the Pacific Film Company. In the twenties, he was mostly a supporting player, starting out as third or fourth billed…then gradually dropping in the billing. By the sound era he was a bit player or extra, but he worked until 1951.

Here he is in the 1919 Al Christie Comedy Fireman, Save My Gal, with music by Ben Model.

For more on silent and slapstick film don’t miss 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

chain%20of%20fools%20cvr%20front%20only-500x500

To find out more about the variety arts past and presentconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famousavailable at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. 

safe_image

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: