The Canadians of Vaudeville
Got the idea for this post just under the wire: Today is Canada Day! So here’s a little shout out for all the vaudevillians and other performers from Canada we have written about on Travalanche. Just click on the name to get the full article about the artist.
Canadian vaudevillians included May Irwin, Gertrude Hoffman, Beatrice Lillie, Ben Blue, Fifi D’Orsay, James Doyle (of Doyle and Dixon), Marie Dressler, Vernon Castle, Ned Sparks, Walter Huston, Eva Tanguay, and Jimi Hendrix’s grandparents!
P.T. Barnum’s giantess Anna Swan was from Canada, as were Mack Sennett, Marie Prevost, Ruby Keeler, Dell Henderson, Del Lord ,and of course Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians. Modern Canadian show biz figures we have written about have included Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, Christopher Guest and John Candy.
And more to come, no doot! Canadians, I raise a Labatt’s in your honor!
For more on show biz 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