Today is the birthday of Joseph “Joe” Coyne (1867-1941), a rare American transplant back to the Mother Country. A New York native, Coyne got his start at Niblo’s Garden as a teenager and spent several years in American vaudeville. He eventually became a member of the Rose Lyall Dramatic Company and began acting in plays (he was in a dozen Broadway shows between 1899 and 1908). In 1906 he moved to London where he became a star of West End musicals. His last performance was in 1931. Interestingly, though he was a star of the stage, he appears never to have made the transition to motion pictures.
For more on vaudeville history, 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 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