Archive for French

Repose en Paix, Pierre Étaix

Posted in Clown, Comedy, Frenchy, Movies (Contemporary), OBITS with tags , , , , , , on October 14, 2016 by travsd

Something fitting about Dario Fo and Pierre Etaix passing away within hours of each other. French clown, actor and comedy film-maker Etaix (1928-2016) was one of the happy discoveries I learned about when researching my book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YoutubeI seem to recall first hearing about the artist from Steve Massa, and there was a big screening of his films (which had long been unavailable) at the Film Forum a couple of years ago.

Etaix is often associated with Jacques Tati (for whom he assistant directed, and with whom he got his start) but his character and his style are very different. He was also in the Jerry Lewis movie The Day the Clown Cried (1972), which it looks like we’ll all finally get to see at some point in the not too distant future. Etaix had many more screen credits as an actor than as a director. He only directed a few films; most of them are available on Youtube. I watched ’em all. This one is probably my favorite, and how perfectly timed for Hallowe’en (there’s more than a little Hammer Horror parody in the fantasy sequences here–very well done) . The film is called Insomnia (1961).  Even so, I hope you sleep well, grand-père drôle!

On Some Heroic Huguenots

Posted in AMERICANA, CULTURE & POLITICS, Frenchy, HOLIDAYS/ FESTIVALS/ MEMORIALS/ PARADES, ME, My Family History with tags , , , , , , on August 23, 2016 by travsd
A painting of the Massacre by the Huguenot Francois Dubois

A painting of the Massacre by the Huguenot Francois Dubois

Today is St. Bartholomew’s Eve.

Funny — despite having worked on this post for several days, I was thinking to myself only yesterday that August doesn’t really have a holiday and that the calendar is a sort of desert between Independence Day and Labor Day. Yet, here we are. From the time of the Middle Ages, the Feast of the Apostle St. Bartholomew was celebrated on August 24, and it was a day with many happy associations. Traditionally, a late summer fair was celebrated in London on the day, from 1133 to 1855 — it was even the title and the setting of a play by Ben JonsonBartholomew Fair.

In modern times, the positive side of St. Bartholomew’s Day has been largely forgotten due to the Massacre that happened on this day in France in 1572. There were many wars of religion during the period of the Protestant Reformation, but for some reason the St. Bartholomew’s Massacre particularly captures the modern imagination. It may be that, unlike many or most such events in Western Europe, this persecution resembles recent atrocities that strike close to home, such as the Holocaust. You have a large majority (Catholic France) persecuting a small minority (the Huguenots, or French Protestants, who made up 10% of the country) strictly on the basis of religion. And you have the official sanction of wiping them out. The word genocidal is wrong in this case, since they were the same people ethnically, but it’s a similar concept. The people of France were whipped up into a frenzy of hatred, and the Huguenots who did not convert and betray their faith were either killed or otherwise mistreated or harassed. Many chose to leave. Historians differ widely in their estimates of the number killed in the actual Massacre, ranging from 5,000 to ten times that. In its wake, the number of Huguenots in France was drastically reduced. Future events (below) would reduce it still further, eventually finishing them as a cultural force in France. The carnage actually began on St. Bartholomew’s Eve (Aug. 23) which is why we post this today rather than tomorrow.

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Ironically, the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre happened at a time of official tolerance for the minority, and a wedding between both forces (the Protestant Henry III of Navarre and the Catholic Princess Margot, sister of King Charles IX) was still being celebrated. You can read a romanticized version of the court intrigues that led to the violence in Dumas’ novel Queen Margot, though as usual with him it is better entertainment than it is history. Likewise, the event is one of the story threads in D.W. Griffth’s Intolerance (1916), which I think is where I first became interested. This is one reason I so vehemently insist that I am not a historian (though no one listens). My main interest is stories.

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Still from Griffith’s “Intolerance”

At any rate: what’s it to me? My recent casual research has uncovered many Huguenots in my ancestry, one of the most surprising revelations of my exploration. They are a tiny but real part of my background, and also an illuminating new way to look at the familiar American story. For, like Puritans, Quakers, Jews and (ironically) Catholics, Huguenots came to America to flee religious persecution. Wonderfully the stories of these ancestors are quite well known, and have been ferreted out by others over the years. There is no single profile that fits all of them. They came at different times, under different circumstances, and settled in different parts of America.

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Nathaniel Basse (circa 1589-1654) was of a Huguenot family which had moved to England a generation or two before his birth. His father Humphrey was a stockholder in the Virginia Company. Nathaniel made his first voyage to the colony in 1619 and moved the rest of his family there in 1621 on a 400 acre spread on the James River he called Basse’s Choyce Plantation. Basse served in Virginia’s General Assembly, the Governor’s Council, and as a justice in the courts. My (9th) great grandmother Genevieve Knight is said by many sources to be one of his ten children, but accounts differ and it is admittedly somewhat murky. Other sources say all of Basse’s children but one, named John, were killed in an Indian massacre, and other sources say he “died without issue” (although the latter source is a contested will). John’s tale, if true, is a ripping yarn, for he is said to have been raised among the Nansemond Indians as one of their own.

All of the folks described in this post are ancestors on my dad’s side of the family, except for one. John Paddoc (1550-1603) left Nord-Pas-de-Calais in 1580 and moved to Tullygovan, Ireland. Ireland was to be a refuge to many Huguenots. My (9th) great grandfather Robert Paddock born there in 1584. He emigrated to the Plymouth colony with his wife and family somewhere between 1631 and 1634. A line runs all the way from him to my mom, and then to me.

My (10th) great grandfather Robert Brasseur (ca 1597-1665) emigrated from Avignon to England around 1630. He shows up in Maryland land records in 1635, having arrived with his wife and seven children.  As is well known, Maryland was a Catholic colony; Brasseur (sometimes Anglicized to “Brashear” and a dozen other spellings) moved to Virginia, where my (9th) great grandmother Margaret was born.  She was to marry into an English family, the Jordans, and convert to Quakerism.

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One of the most important guys on this page: my (11th) great grandfather Robert Vanquellin (1607-1698), from the Normandy region. After spending time on the Isle of Jersey, in January, 1665 he went to England. In April he departed for America in Philip Carteret’s ship, ”Philip,” with about thirty passengers. Robert then settled in northeastern New Jersey, under British rule (since Sept. 1664) of this part of New Netherland as it was in dispute for the next decade until full Dutch capitulation. (Contemporary New Yorkers may be aware of New Netherland’s openness to the Huguenots from certain nearby place names still in use. e.g., New Rochelle, NY and Huguenot, Staten Island).  Carteret was to become Governor of New Jersey. Vanquellin was to be its Surveyor General. His daughter Anne married James Bollen (1629-1682), Secretary of the Province of New Jersey, my (10th) great grandfather.

Jesus Wept

Jesus Wept

Now we come to another phase. In 1685, Louis XIV issued the Edict of Fontainebleau, a decree which revoked the 1598 Edict of Nantes, which had declared a policy of relative tolerance for the Huguenots. Thus a new period of persecution began, resulting in a new wave of Huguenot immigration to the American colonies.

Virginia was to be an early focal point during this phase. In 1698, a settlement with the hilarious name of Manikintown (which would be an excellent title for a Twilight Zone episode) was founded on the James River west of what is now Richmond. Several of my ancestors moved here.

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My (7th) great grandfather Pierre LeGrand arrived there from Normandy with his wife and five children in September 1700 on the second shipload of emigrants aboard the galley ‘Peter and Anthony’ of London. LeGrand was a land surveyor. 

(10th) great grandfather Isaac LaFuitte arrived in Virginia from France in 1705. Little is known about him other than that he was a French protestant refugee.

My (8th) great grandfather Francois Benin (1679-1710) is stated by some sources to have been born in Tartigne. Purportedly a Huguenot, he is said to have fled to the Dutch-Belgium border, and from there to Bristol, England where he married Ann Elizabeth Debonette, another French Huguenot exile in 1704.  The Benin (Benning) family migrated to Virginia with the Guerrant family. Francois is believed to have died around 1710; his son, Antoin (Anthony) was born around 1705 and is believed to have been orphaned while a small child.  He is described in some documents as an “unlearned and tyrannical man”.

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Another (7th) great-grandfather Abraham Michaux (1672-1717) came from the Ardennes region. His wife Suzanne Rochet Micheaux was the youngest of the three daughters of Jean Rochet to be smuggled out of France and into Amsterdam, Holland following the Edict of Fontainebleau in 1685. According to one story, “she, her two sisters, a cousin and her baby were trying to escape when the baby began to cry and the guards were alerted and found the young women. The three Rochet sisters were returned to their father, but the Church took a very hard stance on the daughter’s education and Jean Rochet feared they would be removed from his home and sent to live with the nuns. Before too long the two older daughters made successful escapes to Amsterdam, but fearing the climate was still too dangerous, they had left Suzanne behind. Before they left France, however, the sisters and their father had determined that they would send for Suzanne when they felt the time was right, but fearing the letter would fall in the wrong hands, they had worked out a code. They would tell their father that they thought ‘it would be perfectly fine to send the little nightcap which we had left behind.’ Finally, the letter arrived. After several unsuccessful attempts to get Suzanne out of France, her father had her hidden in a large cask, or hogshead, which was entrusted to friendly sea-captain, who had the cask placed on board the ship. When the ship had sailed and they were safety past the guards, the cask was opened and Suzanne was lifted out of her narrow, dark, chamber and was brought to safety in Amsterdam. She is still known in the annuals of French Huguenot history as ‘Little Nightcap.'”

Micheaux married Suzanne on 13 Jul 1692 in the French Church in Amsterdam. On 20 August 1702 Suzanne Rochet Michaux became a member of the Huguenot Church of Treadneedle Street, London, England. They pressed on to Manikintown a few years after that. 

The last of Huguenot ancestors (and I believe the last of my French ancestors) to arrive was my (7th)great grandfather John Noblett (1690-1748). Like most of these stories, his journey embraces several countries and more than one generation. His father Peter Noblett (1677-1719). moved first to England from France his with parents around 1684, joining distant relatives. Then they moved to Ireland, to a Huguenot community near Dublin. He married Marie Godfrey in 1698.  In 1721 John and his brothers left Ireland with a group of Quakers to settle in York, Pennsylvania. They arrived on the ship Querrier (or Gauffier,) at Grandy’s Point located on Cape May below Philadelphia. It was there they indentured to work for someone to pay for their passage. John, the oldest of the brothers, upon disbarking was informed that William Plumstead of Sugartown had paid his passage. He was obligated to work for three years before he could claim any land of his own. His term of indenture to Plumstead ended in 1725. Noblett first appeared on the tax rolls as a resident citizen of Newton Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, during the tax year of 1729. He married Ann Brereton, another child of Huguenot exiles who’d come over from from Dublin. Their daughter Mary (1746-1811) is my last full French ancestor (that I know of). She married into a Quaker family, the Stouts, whom we wrote about here, and moved with a large group to North Carolina.

The only Huguenot Church left in America. Located in Charleston, South Carolina, it was built in 1844 for a congregation that had been founded two centuries earlier.

The only Huguenot Church left in America. Located in Charleston, South Carolina, it was built in 1844 for a congregation that had been founded two centuries earlier.

The Huguenots assimilated more completely than nearly every other America immigrant group to the us, including other French immigrant groups like the Acadians/Cajuns and the Quebecois. Even relatively assimilated immigrant groups like the Germans had retained their own church denominations and culture. By contrast, after about a century, the Huguenots ceased having a separate church (with the exception noted above). Most converted to other faiths. In some ways, their only footprint here became certain French surnames that continue to pop up, especially in the South. I’m a “Never Forget” kind of guy, so today I choose to remember them.

 

Stars of Vaudeville #993: Anna Chandler

Posted in Hollywood (History), Movies, Singers, Vaudeville etc., Women with tags , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2016 by travsd

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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 historyconsult 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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Stars of Vaudeville #919: Armand Kaliz

Posted in Broadway, Frenchy, Hollywood (History), Jews/ Show Biz, Movies, Vaudeville etc. with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2015 by travsd

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Today is the birthday of Armand Kaliz (Armand Kalisz, 1887-1941). Kaliz was born in Paris; of Polish Jewish parentage.

By 1907 Kaliz was in New York appearing in both vaudeville and the Broadway musical The Hoyden. One finds constant references to Kaliz appearing in vaudeville at least through 1919. He appears to have worked most consistently in dramatic and comedy sketches with a a partner named Amelia Stone, sometimes managed by Alf T. Wilton. At least one of these sketches was written by Edgar Allan Woolf. He also appears to have had a fine singing voice and appeared in musical sketches in vaudeville, and one later Broadway musical The Kiss Burglar (1918), although an arch review of that show by Dorothy Parker might explain why he didn’t do more Broadway work (she made fun of his accent (Found that in the indispensable Dorothy Parker: Complete Broadway 1918-1923 — thank you, Kevin Fitzpatrick!). He appeared on more on Broadway, in the hit revue Spice of 1922, which he also produced (it ran for four months, which isn’t too shabby).

By that point, Kaliz had also been a film actor for several years. It was for the cinema that he removed the troublesome, unnecessary “s” from his last name. He began his film career in 1917, still very much the silent era, and there he found his accent to be no encumbrance to his success. Films included The Siren (1917), Let’s Get a Divorce (1918) and The Stolen Bride (1927). He also had good roles in the earliest years of talkies including Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929), The Aviator (1929), The Unholy Three (1930), Little Caesar (1931), and the Frank Fay comedy  God’s Gift to Women (1931). But his accent does seem to have caused him trouble in sound pictures and he quickly slid down the pecking order to walk-ons. By Flying Down to Rio (1933), his character is “One of Three Greeks”. Almost of his role from the end of the ’30s to his death in 1941 were uncredited.

To learn more about early film history don’t miss my book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Mediaalso available from amazon.com etc etc etc. For more on vaudeville historyconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

Bon Anniversaire, Lafayette!

Posted in AMERICANA, Frenchy, ME, My Family History with tags , , , , , , on September 6, 2015 by travsd

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Today is the birthday of Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette, Marquis de Lafayette (1757 – 1834), hero of the American Revolution and two separate revolutions in his native France. I’ll forgive you if you’re not as interested in him as I am at the moment. Everywhere I turn I seem to bump into him. Actually, you do too, only you may not have realized it. Here in New York we have this, for example:

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As well as this:

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And two blocks from my house in Brooklyn, there’s this:

I made a kid get out of the way so I could take this shot but I forgot to tell him to move his scooter

I made a kid get out of the way so I could take this shot but I forgot to tell him to move his scooter

Ah, that's more like it!

Ah, that’s more like it!

As we’ve blogged here, this part of Brooklyn was the site of a major Revolutionary War battle.

And as we’ve blogged here, many of my ancestors and relatives fought in the Revolution, which is why it is prominent in my mind at the moment.

And all my family research has uncovered more related stuff. For example, I learned that my father’s hometown Fayetteville, Tennessee is named after….Fayetteville, North Carolina, which is named after…the Marquis de Lafayette. (Duh! It never occurred to me. But take the French article “La” off the front of his name, and there you have it). And my (3rd) great uncle is one Polk Lafeyette Stewart (1845-1924). They know how to honor their heroes down there.

Of course, Lafayette is second only to the Statue of Liberty in symbolizing Franco-American amity. (Don’t bother making a joke about canned spaghetti. It is beneath us both). One of the most surprising (and welcome) discoveries of all my recent family research is the amount of French ancestry I have. I had known about the usual Medieval Bretons, Normans and Franks — most people of English and Scottish ancestry have a great many of those in their lineage. What I hadn’t known about was that I have modern French forbears who came to America. I thought I had none, but it turns out I have tons on my Southern side, many or most of them (presumably) Huguenots. Those who have observed a certain Gallic arrogance and predisposition to rationalism in my character can look to the surnames Vanquellin, Noblett, Brereton, Bertrand, D’Aubigne,  DeConde, Benin, DeBonnette, Jouany, LaFuite, LeGrand, Dubois, Michaux, Broucard, LeFevre, RochetBrasseure, Buschier, Mahieu, Lobel, Lessard, Rochet, Laigniez, Coulliard, Paddoc and Traillour,  (all names in my family tree) for an explanation.

And the final reason why Lafayette is on my radar, and will be even more so in a few weeks? One of my favorite contemporary writers Sara Vowell is coming out with a new book about him! The pub date is October 20 and rest assured I’ll be reading that and blogging about it — si vous me passez l’expression — tout suite. Pre-order it here. 


 

 

For Bastille Day: How the French Invented Film Comedy

Posted in Comedy, Frenchy, Hollywood (History), Movies, Silent Film with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2015 by travsd
Well known phallic symbol

Well known phallic symbol

The following is an excerpt from my 2013 book  Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, published by Bear Manor Media, available from Amazon.com etc etc etc

…Just as jazz, the quintessential American music, was born as a hybrid between German marches and the syncopated playing styles of African-Americans, it might be useful to think of American screen comedy as the love child of another foreign import, the French farce, mixed with the limitless extravagance of the American imagination. As with the march, we start out with a fairly rigid European structure, pleasurable to experience, but a foreign import nonetheless. In skillful hands the French farce is as seamless as a series of geometric proofs, its symmetries and proportions all laid out according to strict, innate, universal laws. While some of Mack Sennett’s films may seem free-wheeling and plotless, many others borrowed their spines directly from pre-existing farces. At Keystone, Sennett actually had a translator on staff, converting the plots of French plays into English synopses for his use. It is a fallacy that Keystone worked without prepared scenarios. It would be more accurate to say that they sometimes worked without scenarios. Most of the time they actually had a working document prepared ahead of time, which they could then deviate from as the mood struck them during production. The films generally have some kind of funny or ironic story arc borrowed from farce.

Mack Sennett, "The Curtain Pole" (1909)

Mack Sennett, “The Curtain Pole” (1909)

As in farces, coincidental interaction rules the day in a Keystone comedy. If the hero flirts with a woman in one scene, and then runs afoul of a random gentleman in another scene, it’s a sure bet that those two will turn out to be a married couple later on, and that our hero will only learn this crucial information when he is hiding under the wife’s bed. These are some Keystone plots: A married woman with whom our hero had earlier flirted sleepwalks into his room, forcing him to hide on the roof when her husband comes home (Caught in the Rain, 1914). Two strange men accidentally switch jackets, each of which has something incriminating in the pockets, which their wives then find. Then they all meet in the park, adding pandemonium to the domestic strife (His Trysting Place, 1914). Two husbands flirt with each other’s wives in the park. Each woman calls a policeman to arrest the mashers, but now the women have since become friends and agree not to press charges against each other’s husbands (Getting Acquainted, 1914). None of these plots would have been out of place on the French stage or screen of the time.

While these scenarios are funny, they have another element, one Sennett seems to have imported almost by accident, like some disease hitching a ride with an invading army. This element is of course sex.  Recall that at the time, women wore corsets and weren’t allowed to even show an ankle in public, or even walk down the street unaccompanied. The art of the time was a reflection of the culture. Consider, for example, the raciest, “filthiest,” most controversial English-language play of that day: Mrs. Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw. A modern reader of the play might be forgiven for being a little confused by its reputation. The words “sex” or “prostitute” are never mentioned in the play, let alone references to the various acts the title character is supposed to have engaged in. Meanwhile, by contrast, all of the characters in French farces behave like dogs in heat. In Feydeau’s The Lady from Maxim’s (1899), a married man wakes up to discover that he has brought a prostitute home with him.  In Through the Window (1882), a strange lady walks into a man’s house and requests a bout of revenge sex so that she can get back at her husband.  In Hotel Paradiso (1894), a couple has every intention of engaging in an extramarital affair, but a chain of incidents prevents them from even getting to touch each other.

Inspired by this alternate reality of French permissiveness, Sennett attempted to transplant something like it to his native soil. This new universe is one where sexed-up slobs habitually just walk up to random girls and try to make their time. Borrowed from both the farce and the melodrama, it may be the most frequently used plot device in Keystone films. A guy spies a girl, starts talking to her, won’t leave her alone, trouble ensues. This kind of behavior was even more frowned upon in Sennett’s day than in our own and for all the same reasons. A woman’s reality in these films is downright dangerous. In Between Showers (1914), for example, the girl (Emma Clifton) is bothered by no less than four different men. She must feel like she’s got pork chops tied to her legs. Sometimes in these comedies it’s as though life has reverted to pre-civilization, where cavemen are just prowling around, on the hunt for women to bag and drag back to their huts by the hair of their heads. Indeed, in His Prehistoric Past (1914), that’s literally the plot of the film.

Max Linder, Father of Screen Comedy Before Either Sennett or Chaplin

Max Linder, Father of Screen Comedy Before Either Sennett or Chaplin

It’s not just sex that begins to rear its ugly head in the Keystone films, but on occasion even the scatological. The French are a freer culture; they have no hang-ups about the lower body. This is the nation of Rabelais, Voltaire, and de Sade. These are not people who pretend that certain bodily productions don’t exist. The action in Feydeau’s Hortense a dit: je m’en fous! (1916)* is precipitated by a cat peeing on a coat. In the Max Linder film Max’s Hat (1913), a dog pisses on our hero’s chapeau right on camera! By contrast, you don’t see a lot of urine in the American and English stage and screen during the Edwardian era. But the French influence will be felt. A few months after leaving Sennett, Charlie Chaplin would mistake a leaky baby bottle for a peeing baby in Easy Street. It’s more polite but it’s the same idea. And there were plenty of people who thought it was rude enough in 1916.

* Translates roughly as “Hortense said, “I don’t give a fuck!”

For more on silent and slapstick comedy don’t miss my  book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Mediaalso available from amazon.com etc etc etc. For more on show biz historyconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

 

Monsieur E. Bihin, the French Giant

Posted in Dime Museum and Side Show, Frenchy, Giants, Human Anomalies (Freaks) with tags , , , , on December 15, 2013 by travsd

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Today is the birthday of Jean Antoine Joseph Bihin (1805-1873). A native of Belgium, he grew to a height of between 6’8″ to 8′ feet (reports vary). Beyond this advantage, he could act and sing, and was a skilled strong man and comedian. After achieving fame touring fairs and circuses across western Europe, he moved to the U.S. in 1840. He worked at P.T. Barnum’s museum, where he once got into a fight with Colonel Goshen. Barnum interceded by demanding they save the altercation until there were time to properly promote it and sell tickets. Bihin also worked with Colonel Nutt in a 1862 production of the play Hop o’ My Thumb. He is also reputed to have done some p.r. work for the Union during the Civil War, and is reported to have been married from 1849-1863. The marriage is said to have ended in divorce on the grounds of cruelty. (This and the fact that M. Bihin is said to have employed the N word during the brawl with Goshen begins to paint a not very flattering portrait of the man. But information is admittedly scant).

He is buried in Green-wood cemetery so look here for a photo of the marker ere long.

To find out more about  the history of show businessconsult 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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And check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Mediaalso available from amazon.com etc etc etc

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