Today is the birthday of Lee Moran (1888-1961). Moran got his start performing in vaudeville and musical comedy, breaking into films at the Nestor company in 1912. After three years on his own in supporting and starring parts in one and two reel comedies, the tall, lean Moran was teamed with comedian Eddie Lyons by studio head Al Christie. They enjoyed great success in realistic domestic comedies that anticipated the much later Laurel and Hardy (with Moran generally the broader comedian of the two). The team broke up in 1920 and continued to star in shorts at Universal, Educational and Fox. Moran also wrote and directed many shorts (and even some features), and worked as a supporting player in major features through the 1920s. In the 1930s he continued on as a bit player with diminishing success, retiring in 1935.
For more on classic comedy please check out 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 find out about the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.