Stars of Vaudeville #977: Louis Mann
Today is the birthday of Louis Mann (1865-1931). Mann was a major figure of the Broadway stage from the turn of the last century almost until his death. Of German parentage, he started out in German language productions as a child actor; German characters would continue to be the mainstay of his career, both in drama and comedy. This is evidenced by the surnames of those characters on his IBDB page: Hoch, Hofbrau, Blinker, Plittersdorf, Pfeiffer, Pumpernick, Schnitzler, Bauer, and Kraft. In 1903, he produced his own starring vehicle The Consul. Later that year and into 1904, he appeared in the Weber and Fields extravaganza Whoop-de-Doo. Shortly after after appearing with her in a revival tour of the play Incog in 1906 he married his co-star, the actress and soon to be playwright Clara Lipman, with whom he was to collaborate frequently over the rest of his career.
At any rate, though he was a major Broadway figure, German schtick was a mainstay of vaudeville, and Mann was known to grace the stage of the Palace at least a couple of times, in 1914 and 1925. Ironically, his last performance turned out to be his only real movie role, as the martyr like immigrant father in the melodrama The Sins of the Children (1930) with Robert Montgomery, Leila Hyams, Clara Blandick, and Dell Henderson.
To learn more about 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.