How Kitty McHugh Came to a Sad End

Katherine “Kitty” McHugh (1902-1954) was one of the famous McHugh vaudeville family, which also included Frank McHugh and Matt McHugh.  Kitty was mostly a bit and supporting player in films, ranging from well known classics like The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and Come Back Little Sheba (1952), to countless Three Stooges shorts like Listen, Judge (1952) and Gents in a Jam (1952).

McHugh had broken into films in 1934. The following year she married familiar character actor Ned Glass, who also appeared in comedy shorts. She appeared in five dozen films over the years, sometimes supporting comedians like Edgar Kennedy and Walter Catlett, culminating with her last credit on the television show Crown Theatre with Gloria Swanson (1954). In September of that year, McHugh took her own life by swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills. If there’s any scuttlebutt as to the casue, I’ve not yet come across it.

To learn more about vaudeville, please see No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, and for more on classic comedy please read Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube.