Anna Chandler: Singer of Italian and Hebrew Songs


Today is the birthday of Anna Chandler (1884-1957). Pennsylvania native Chandler was only 16 years old when she married Keith-Albee booker Jack Curtis Sr. For the next 30+ years she was to be a regular fixture on the Keith and Orpheum circuits as a singer of Italian and Hebrew songs in an operatic mezzo soprano. In 1911, she appeared in the Broadway farce Jumping Jupiter. By the middle of the decade her visage was gracing the cover of sheet music, she was cutting records, and she was commonly spoken of by reviewers as one of the top “single women” in vaudeville. In 1928, billed as “Vaudeville’s Favorite Daughter”, she appeared in a Vitaphone short, singing and doing French dialect. For the next 20 years, she appeared in several notable Hollywood films, normally in bit parts. She was in The Big Broadcast (1932), Broadway Bill (1934), Gold Rush Maisie (1940), and The Lemon Drop Kid (1951), among others.

Chandler’s daughter was Beatrice Curtis, vaudeville partner and wife of Harry Fox.

For more on vaudeville history and performers like Anna Chandler, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

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