Today is the birthday of Minnie Dupree (1875-1947). Dupree was a star of the old melodrama stage who’d acted with such figures as William Gillette, Nat Goodwin and Richard Mansfield. In addition to her dozens of Broadway roles she also appeared in three films, the best known of which is The Young in Heart (1938), with Janet Gaynor, Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Billie Burke. She also worked a great deal in radio. One of her last roles was as a replacement for one of the two aunt characters in the original production of Arsenic and Old Lace.
Like many on her line, she also toured vaudeville in one-act plays. She was in fact one of the first acts booked at the Palace for its first season in 1913.
To find out more about the history of show business, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.