Stars of Vaudeville #897: Edwin J. Burke


Today is the birthday of Edwin J. Burke (1889-1944). We cast a wide net betimes for our Stars of Vaudeville series. Only rarely do playwrights make it here, but some do, and some have.

Burke studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and initially worked as a stage actor and director before trying his hand at writing for vaudeville. Before he was done, he wrote 250 one act plays and sketches for the vaudeville stage, some of them making it as far as the Palace. His first full length play This Thing Called Love was such a success that in 1928 he began to work in Hollywood. He is best known today for having written several Shirley Temple films, and for his Oscar winning screenplay for Bad Girl (1931).

For more on vaudeville historyconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.


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