Today is the birthday of actress/ author Florence Nash (1888-1950). As with her sister Mary Nash, her stage name also comes from her stepfather Philip F. Nash, an important vaudeville booker for F.F. Proctor, B.F. Keith and the United Booking Office. Nash acted in Broadway, vaudeville and films in a career that began circa 1907 and lasted until 1939. Her thirteen Broadway productions included roles in The Boys Company X (1907), Within the Law (1912) and Merton of the Movies (1922). Her last Broadway part was the title role in Lady Cara (1930). In but 30 years of performing she acted in but three films: the silent Springtime (1914), It’s a Great Life (1935), and the George Cukor classic The Women (1939).
She was also a performer in comedy sketches in big time vaudeville. She remains best known for her role in a 1912 William de Mille sketch, produced by Jesse Lasky, called In 1999, set in a future America where the gender roles were reversed. She also published a book of poems called June Dusk in 1918.
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.