Stars of Vaudeville #951: William Faversham
Today is the birthday of one of the last of great actor/managers William Faversham (1868-1940). I was tempted to include him in our Hall of Hams, but though Faversham was a great dramatic actor of both stage and screen, he also (like many such as him) toured big time vaudeville.
His film career began on the London stage, his first Broadway appearance was in 1887 in The Highest Bidder. From the New York premiere of The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) he was on Broadway almost constantly until his retirement from the stage in 1931. He produced, directed and starred in Edwin Milton Royle’s The Squaw Man in 1906, later turned into more than one movie version by Cecil B. DeMille. Other plays on which he starred and either produced or directed or both included The Barber of New Orleans (1909), Julius Caesar (1912), Getting Married (1916-1917), Misalliance (1917), The Prince and the Pauper (1920-1921), The Silver Fox (1921), and A Lesson in Love (1923). He also starred in a dozen movies from 1915 through 1937. His best known today might bee his last three: the Technicolor Becky Sharpe (1935) and two low budget westerns, The Singing Buckaroo (1937) and Arizona Days (1937).
In 1914 he made his first appearances in vaudeville in a one-act version of The Squaw Man. He appeared at the Colonial Theatre and the brand new Palace at $3,000 a week. He continued appearing in vaudeville throughout the years during downtime form legit productions. He appeared at the Palace as late as 1923.
For more on vaudeville history, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.