Raymond Hitchcock (actor)

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Raymond Hitchcock
Raymond-hitchcock-face.jpg
Raymond Hitchcock in 1904
Born (1865-10-22)October 22, 1865
Auburn, New York, U.S.
Died November 24, 1929(1929-11-24) (aged 64)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Spouse(s) Freda Cowen (1891-1903)
Flora Zabelle (1905-1929; his death
(audio) 1910 phonographic recording of And the World Goes On.
Montagu Love glares at Raymond Hitchcock and Diana Allen in the 1922 silent comedy "The Beauty Shop."

Raymond Hitchcock (October 22, 1865 – November 24, 1929) was a silent film actor, stage actor, and stage producer, who appeared in, or produced 30 plays on Broadway from 1898 to 1928, and who appeared in the silent films of the 1920s.[1][2]

Biography[edit]

He appeared first as a star in the character of Abijah Booze in The Yankee Consul, and sang It Was Not Like This in the Olden Time. In his stage career, Hitchcock went back and forth between dramatic roles and ones in comic opera.[3] In 1905 he appeared on Broadway with John Bunny in Easy Dawson the two apparently playing firemen. Hitchcock also made several phonograph recordings of which many survive to lend an idea of what he sounded like.

In 1907, Hitchcock was charged with the sexual abuse of two adolescent girls together with New York magnate William A. Chanler.[4] As Hitchcock's trial progressed, it was revealed that the charges of sexual abuse were fabricated as part of a blackmail scheme.[5] Hitchcock was acquitted by a jury on June 11, 1908,[6] after spending almost nine months in prison.

In 1925, Hitchcock appeared in a test film made by Lee DeForest in DeForest's Phonofilm sound-on-film process, in which Hitchcock performed a sketch from his revue Hitchy-Koo, which was originally produced on Broadway in 1917, 1918, 1919, and 1920.[7] Cole Porter wrote the music for the 1919 version. Raymond Hitchcock also figured prominently in John Ford's Upstream (1927).

He died on November 24, 1929.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Hitchcock was married to Freda Bowen from 1891 to 1903, and then was married to beautiful actress Flora Zabelle (1880-1968) from 1905 to his death in 1929.[8] Hitchcock and Zabelle had no children. In one of her few movie roles, Zabelle appeared in the silent film The Red Widow (1916) opposite male lead John Barrymore. Barrymore's role had been played by Hitchcock in the 1911 Broadway production of The Red Widow. According to the Daily Register Gazette, Hitchcock was cremated with plans to return his ashes to Canandaigua, New York for burial in the family plot at Woodlawn Cemetery.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Raymond Hitchcock Dies In California. Musical Comedy Star, Long Ill, Collapses at His Wife's Side in Automobile. On Stage Nearly 40 Years. 'The Yankee Consul' and 'Hitchy Koo' Outstanding Successes in Long List of Plays". New York Times. November 26, 1929. Retrieved 2013-12-11. "Raymond Hitchcock, musical comedy star, died suddenly last night of heart disease at his wife's side as they were entering the driveway of their Beverly Hills home after a short automobile ride. His age was 64." 
  2. ^ Raymond Hitchcock - North American Theatre Online
  3. ^ Eaton, Walter Prichard (1910). The American Stage of Today. New York, NY: P.F. Collier & Son. 
  4. ^ "WARRANT ISSUED FOR W.R. HEARST: William Astor Chanler Accuses the Editor of Criminal Libel," Oct 23, 1907; The New York Times, p. 7.
  5. ^ "Pleaded Guilty When Charged with Blackmail - Tried to Extort $1,500 from Raymond Hitchcock - Vindication for Noted Actor;" Wilkes-Barre Times Leader; 12-23-1907; p. 1; Wilkes-barre, Pennsylvania.
  6. ^ "JURY DECLARES ACTOR GUILTLESS: Raymond Hitchcock Acquitted of Crime against Young Girls." Morning Oregonian, June 11, 1908, p. 5.
  7. ^ IMDB entry on Hitchcock
  8. ^ "Flora Zabelle Hitchcock, Ex-Actress and Designer". New York Times. October 8, 1968. Retrieved 2010-11-24. "Flora Zabelle Hitchcock, actress and widow of Raymond Hitchcock, the actor, died yesterday in Presbyterian Hospital. She was 88 years old and lived at 303 ..." 

External links[edit]