Stars of Vaudeville #905: Clark and Bergman
The team of Gladys Clark and Henry (sometimes “Harry”) Bergman (1887-1962) were prominent in vaudeville throughout the teens and twenties. They often fronted tab shows produced for vaudeville by Jesse Lasky, including “The Trained Nurses” (1913) and “The Society Buds” (1914), and they introduced many Irving Berlin songs to the public from the vaudeville stage, such as “Remember” (1925) and “Always” (1926). They also appeared together on Broadway in The Passing Show of 1917. And they are also in one talkie short made in 1930 called Do It Now , which one reviewer called “Dull, Obvious and decidedly unfunny”, though their vaudeville reviews were usually quite good.
I find references to Clark and Bergman appearing as a team as early as 1909, when Bergman was only 22 years old. I’ve come across references to Clark (sometimes spelled “Clarke”) working in acts previous to her pairing with Bergman as early as 1906. Bergman, originally from New York, had started out with Gus Edwards kiddie acts.
It is often erroneously assumed and reported that Bergman is the same Henry Bergman who appeared in several Charlie Chaplin movies, but a quick glance at the picture on the sheet music above and the many other pieces of published sheet music on which the couple’s likeness appeared will quickly disabuse you of that notion. Also, Chaplin’s Henry Bergman was quite gay, and this Henry Bergman had a wife named Gladys (and nothing is more heterosexual than that). Circa 1939, the pair moved to San Antonio Texas where Bergman managed the Broadway Theatre and this is where they lived out the balance of their lives.
To find out more about the variety arts 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. And don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, released by Bear Manor Media.