Eddie Foy, Jr.: A Chip off the Old BLock

Eddie Foy, Jr. (1905-1983) was born on February 4.  Foy was actually Eddie Foy, Sr.’s fourth son, and was given the honor of being his famous father’s namesake by virtue of the fact that he was the first male offspring to closely resemble him. He was also the only member of the Seven Little Foys to remain an actor after the family vaudeville act broke up.

Foy broke out as a solo in 1928, first appearing in a Vitaphone short called The Swell Head, directed by his older brother Bryan and co-starring Bessie Love and Eugene Pallette. Then came the Ziegfeld-produced Broadway musical Show Girl (1929), starring Ruby Keeler and Jimmy Durante. He was next cast in Texas Guinan’s only starring talkie Queen of the Night Clubs (1929), with Guinan, Arthur Housman, Lila Lee, Jack Norworth and George Raft. Throughout his career he was to alternate Broadway shows and films.

Of his ten turns on Broadway, some other notable ones included Ripples (1930) with Fred Stone and family; Smiles (1930) with Fred and Adele Astaire; The Cat and the Fiddle (1931) starring Odette Myrtil; At Home Abroad (1935) with Beatrice Lillie, Ethel Waters, and Eleanor Powell; the original production of The Pajama Game (1954); and Rumple (1957) for which he was nominated for a Tony. His last was Donnybrook (1961)

Of scores of film and tv appearances, notable ones included: Broadway Through a Keyhole (1933); Myrt and Marge (1933); Wonder Bar (1934) with Al Jolson, Kay Francis, Dolores Del Rio, Ricardo Cortez, Dick Powell, Guy Kibbee, Hugh Herbert, Louise Fazenda, Fifi D’Orsay and Merna Kennedy; The Cowboy Quarterback (1939) with Bert  Wheeler and Marie Wilson; Four Jacks and a Jill (1942) with Ray Bolger, June Havoc, Desi Arnaz, Jack Durant, Fritz Feld, and Henry Daniell; The Farmer Takes a Wife (1953) with Betty Grable and Thelma Ritter; the 1957 film version of The Pajama Game (1957) with Doris Day; and Bells Are Ringing (1960).

With Cagney in “Yankee Doodle Dandy”

Fans today especially know him from the several times he portrayed his father on screen, in the films Frontier Marshall (1939), Lillian Russell (1940), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), and Wilson (1944). He also played his dad in a tv film called Mr. Broadway (1957), and a tv version of Seven Little Foys on Bob Hope Chrysler Theatre in 1964. His last role was in the 1977 tv movie The Deadly Game with Andy Griffith.