Today is the birthday (according to IMDB) of Rufus LeMaire (Rufus Ralph Goldstick, 1895-1950). LeMaire was from a family of brothers who all made a mark in show business; we have previously written about his brother George here).
Originally from Texas, Rufus got his start as an office boy, then went to work for the Shuberts, eventually booking their Sunday night concert series at the Winter Garden theatre, a frequent venue for vaudevillians with an open night.
In 1922 he began producing Broadway shows. Some notable ones included the original 1923 production of George S. Kaufman’s Helen of Troy, New York and the 1927 revue Rufus LeMaire’s Affairs, which featured Charlotte Greenwood, Ted Lewis and Sophie Tucker (this is the chief context in which I’ve usually come across the name). In 1929, he went out to Hollywood to work as a casting director, and this was how we spent the balance of his working career.
To find out more about show business past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.