Edgar Connor: No Bum

Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Edgar Connor (1893-1934), started out singing and dancing for coppers on street corners ’til Cole and Johnson put him in their shows The Shoo-Fly regiment and The Red Moon. He played vaudeville, nightclubs, theatres and cruiseships in the U.S. and in Europe for years, and was in the touring production of Shuffle Along in the early 1920s. In 1929 he broke into films in a Duke Ellington short for RKO. There follows a short but promising list of shorts: a Gilda Gray short for Paramount called He Was Her Man (1931), Eddie Cantor’s The Kid from Spain (1932), Hallelujah I’m a Bum (1933), in which he has a relatively big role as “Acorn” (it’s what brought him to my attention), and the legendary all-black musical short Rufus Jones for President (1933). He was clearly on his way to a career filled with future film work, but he was felled at the young age of 41 in 1934.

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