Prior to his career he served as an apprenticeship as a sign painter. When he was bored, he joined a circus and performed as a scenery artist and clown. His first music hall performance in Manchester was as a lightning cartoonist. He also joined a Wild west show before heading to London and finding fame as a comedian and pantomime performer. As a comedian he was famous for his sketches such as 'Tom Foy and his Donkey'; his first successful sketch was "The Lanchashire Lad in London". He was billed as "The famous Little Comedian". As a pantomime performer he specialised in "Idle Jack" and pantomime dames.
On 23 July 1917, whilst onstage at the Argyle Theatre in Birkenhead he collapsed. He died two weeks later at the age of 38. He is buried in Brompton Cemetery in London, on the east side of the main central path, not far from the main north entrance.
- "Caricature". V&A Images. V&A. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
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