Today is the birthday of Stanley Lupino (1893-1942). One of the famous Lupino family of acrobats, today we remember him chiefly as the father of Ida Lupino, and the cousin of Lupino Lane and Wallace Lupino.
Born in London, Lupino began performing as a child in the family’s acrobatic troupe, worked for a pugilist as a while and then toured music hall with a succession of other acts, including the Albert and Edmunds troupe. This led to roles in pantomimes, which led to parts in musicals and legit shows (some of which he wrote) in the West End and Broadway starting in the 1920s. Throughout the 30s he starred in numerous British films, many of them adapted from his popular stage shows. He was also a popular fixture on BBC radio. The multi-talented Lupino also sang, dance, wrote songs and wrote and published works of fiction.
Here’s a clip from his 1936 vehicle Cheer Up!, recently released on DVD.
For more on music hall and 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 for more on Stanley’s brother’s Lupino Lane and Wallace Lupino, 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