Today is the birthday of Sally O’Neil (Virginia Louise Noonan, 1908-1968). Bayonne-born O’Neil started her performing career as “Chotsie Noonan” in vaudeville. Her first film was the Hal Roach comedy short Yes, Yes, Nanette (1925) starring Jimmy Finlayson and Oliver Hardy, co-directed by Stan Laurel. She shot to fame as part of a trio with Constance Bennett and Joan Crawford in Sally, Irene and Mary (1925). Other notable roles included Battling Butler (1926) opposite Buster Keaton, Slide Kelly Slide (1927) directed by Eddie Sedgwick, The Callahans and the Murphys (1927) with Marie Dressler and Polly Moran, the all-star revue The Show of Shows (1929), and Hold Everything (1930) with Joe E. Brown. Toward ths mid 30s her parts grew smaller and she retied in 1937.
To learn more about early film history don’t miss my 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. For still more on 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.