Today is the birthday of Bert Lytell (1885-1954).
Lyell was a thespian of stage and screen, whose Broadway career lasted from 1902 to 1946, and whose film career from 1917 to 1953. A notable Broadway show was A Mix-Up (1914-1915) with Marie Dressler. On film, he was the screen’s original “Lone Wolf” as well as the screen’s original “Boston Blackie”, and appeared in such films as Alias Jimmy Valentine (1920) and Lady Windermere’s Fan (1925). The coming of sound hurt his film career badly, although he did make the occasional film and tv appearance through the early ’50s.
But in vaudeville for many, many years he toured the big time with a one-act called The Valiant, that later became part of the traditional community theatre repertoire. He played The Palace with this act more than once. His scene partner at one point was Mary Hay. From 1947 through 1952 he was Shepherd of the Lamb’s Club.
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.