List of vaudeville performers: A–K

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Sister list: List of vaudeville performers: L–Z

This is a partial list of vaudeville performers. Inclusion on this list indicates that the subject appeared at least once on the American vaudeville stage during its heyday between 1881 and 1932. The source in the citation included with each entry confirms their appearance and cites information in the performance notes section.

Vaudeville (sometimes abbreviated as vaude) was the name used in North America and Australasia for a style of variety entertainment predominant in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The same type of entertainment was known as Music Hall in Britain. Developing from many sources, including shows in saloons, minstrelsy, freak shows, dime museums, British pantomimes, and other popular forms of entertainment, vaudeville became one of the most popular types of entertainment in America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Vaudeville took the form of a series of separate, unrelated acts each featuring a different types of performance. These performances could ranges from musicians (both classical and popular), dancers, comedians, animal acts, magicians, female and male impersonators, to acrobats, one-act plays or scenes from plays, athletes, lecturing celebrities, minstrels, or even short films.

While the initial origins of vaudeville are obscure, historians acknowledge that the opening of Tony Pastor's Fourteenth Street Theatre in New York City on October 24, 1881 marks the beginning of American vaudeville. Pastor had refined the rough variety acts into something wholesome enough for women and children. Other theatre owners quickly picked up on Pastor's new style of vaudeville and theatres began springing up like weeds and would continue in a quick pace until the 1920s. In Australasia vaudeville companies such as Fuller's became household names, eventually operating in several Australian and New Zealand cities at once.[1] Vaudeville reached its height around 1915. These heights included an industrialization of the business of vaudeville. Following this climax, vaudeville began to struggle with competition from film and in the following decade, radio. These mediums competed not only for audiences, but talent as well. Towards the end of the 1920s, vaudeville theatres began to be converted to cinemas or closed altogether with entire circuits. After the blow dealt the world by the economic downturn of the Great Depression, vaudeville's pulse quickly weakened. Just as historians mark the date of the "birth" of vaude, the date of its death is marked as well. New York's Palace Theatre on Broadway, was the palace of vaudeville; a place where only the greatest of vaude's performers performed. On November 16, 1932, the last vaudeville bill was played there and the Palace became a full-time movie house. Vaudeville did continue to struggle on, but it never again reached the heights attained in 1915.[2]

A[edit]

Name Birth Death Nationality Performance notes Reference
Abbott and Costello American Comic duo consisting of William (Bud) Abbott (October 2, 1897 – April 24, 1974) and Lou Costello (March 6, 1906 – March 3, 1959). Abbott began working in vaudeville in 1918, producing a "tab show" on the Gus Sun circuit with his wife. Later, he began working as a comic "straight man." Abbott and Costello met around 1929 and possibly performed together in vaudeville in the very early 1930s. The duo went on to work in radio and film. [3]
Jean Acker October 23, 1893 August 16, 1978 American Actress known primarily for her work on film and as the first wife of Rudolf Valentino. [4]
Jean Adair June 13, 1873 May 11, 1953 Canadian Actress of the legitimate stage who appeared in vaudeville in a sketch, Maggie Taylor, Waitress. Adair usually played mothers and elderly aunts onstage following her New York debut in 1922. One of her best known roles was as Aunt Martha in the play, Arsenic and Old Lace. [5][6]
Milton Ager October 6, 1893 May 6, 1979 American Pianist and songwriter. Ager worked in vaudeville prior to 1910 as an accompanist. He wrote for the stage and Hollywood and composed the song, "Happy Days Are Here Again" with lyrics by Jack Yellen. [7]
Will Ahern October 9, 1896 May 16, 1983 American Cowboy comedian and entertainer who performed in a comic duo with his wife, Gladys Reese. Ahern told jokes and performed rope tricks while his wife, using a Mexican accent, sang and danced. [8]
Harry Akst August 15, 1894 March 31, 1963 American Pianist and songwriter, Akst accompanied singers including Al Jolson, Nora Bayes and Frank Fay. Perhaps his most notable song is "Dinah", which has been covered by such artists as Bing Crosby, the Mills Brothers and Fats Waller. [9]
Jack Albertson June 16, 1907 November 25, 1981 American Actor, comedian, dancer and singer. After vaudeville, Albertson worked in burlesque, on Broadway and in Hollywood, winning a Tony Award, an Emmy Award and an Academy Award. [10]
Robert Alda February 26, 1914 May 3, 1986 American Actor, singer and dancer whose vaudeville career began in earnest after winning a talent contest. After working in vaudeville and burlesque, Alda appeared on Broadway, winning a Tony Award for the role of Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls. He later appeared in film, as well. He is the father of TV and film actor Alan Alda. [11][12]
Joe Bennet Aldert 1889 1967 American Dancer [13]
Russell Alexander February 26, 1877 October 2, 1915 American Euphonium virtuoso and musician who performed in a novelty musical act with his brothers, Newton and Woodruff. It was Newton who first formed the act, called "The Exposition Four", which consisted of Newton, Woodruff, James Brady and Willie Patten. Russell replaced Patten later. The group performed a comedy act with some blackface but also performed virtuosic feats on their instruments. Russell would become one of the greatest of circus music composers. [14]
Hadji Ali 1892 November 5, 1937 Egyptian Regurgitator, billed as "The Egyptian Enigma", who performed an act where he swallowed kerosene followed by water. After regurgitating the kerosene and setting it ablaze, he would put out the flames with the regurgitated water. He also swallowed and regurgitated nuts and live goldfish. [15]
Maud Allan August 27, 1873 October 7, 1956 Canadian A dancer, Allan created the famous "Salome Dance", a dance of her own creation. After performing it firsat at London's Palace Theatre, in March 1908, she appeared at New York's Palace Theatre January 20, 1910. She toured in American vaudeville from 1916 to 1917 and 1919 to 1920. [16][17][18]
Fred Allen May 31, 1894 March 17, 1956 American Juggler and comedian who also performed in a comic duo with his wife, Portland Hoffa (January 25, 1905 – December 25, 1990). His original act featured Allen as a ventriloquist, the comedy coming from his lack of talent (at one point the dummy would fall apart). Later his act featured Allen as a clumsy juggler and once his wife joined, she would act as the "straight man" to his bad juggling routine. Later, the couple would gain prominence on the radio. [19]
Lester Allen November 17, 1891 November 6, 1949 American Comedian who appeared in a double act with Nellie Breen. He also emceed at the Palace. [20]
Louis Alter June 18, 1902 November 5, 1980 American Pianist and songwriter who accompanied Nora Bayes for a number of years and wrote songs for Irène Bordoni, Beatrice Lillie and Helen Morgan. Among his most popular songs are "Manhattan Serenade" and "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans." [21][22]
Nick Altrock September 15, 1876 January 20, 1965 American Former baseball player who appeared in a comedy routine with Al Schacht, The Clown Prince of Baseball. [23]
Kirk Alyn May 31, 1908 December 6, 1993 American Singer and dancer. Later notable as the first actor to play Superman on film. [24]
Don Ameche May 31, 1906 March 14, 1999 American Comedian with Texas Guinan's troupe. After vaude, Ameche worked in film, winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1985 for his work on the film, Cocoon. [25][26]
Morey Amsterdam December 14, 1908 October 27, 1996 American Amsterdam debuted in vaudeville as a cellist with his brother, a pianist. Within a short while, the act had become a comedy routine; Amsterdam's cello becoming a mere prop. After working in a nightclub owned by Al Capone, Amsterdam worked in radio, where he had his own variety show, The Morey Amsterdam Show, and in television where he was cast as one of Dick Van Dyke's co-workers on The Dick Van Dyke Show. He also wrote comedy dialogue for motion pictures. [27]
"Broncho Billy" Anderson March 21, 1880 January 20, 1971 American Actor who, following vaude, became the first star of the Western film genre. In addition, with George K. Spoor, he founded Essanay Studios ("S" for Spoor and "A" for Anderson) in Chicago. [28]
Eddie Anderson September 18, 1905 February 28, 1977 American Born into a vaudevillian family, Anderson began performing in a song and dance act with his brother, Cornelius and another young man, at the age of 14. The act was billed as the "Three Black Aces." Following vaude, Anderson appeared with fellow vaudevillian, Jack Benny, as "Rochester" on The Jack Benny Show on radio and later TV. [29]
Andrews Sisters American Trio of sisters, LaVerne (July 6, 1911 – May 8, 1967), Maxine (January 3, 1916 – October 21, 1995) and Patty (February 16, 1918 – January 30, 2013) who sang in close harmony. The trio started touring vaudeville in the early 1930s with the Larry Rich band. [30]
Margaret Anglin April 3, 1876 January 7, 1958 Canadian Actress from the legitimate stage who appeared in a sketch of the play The Wager, The Playhouse Theatre, New York, December 1917. Anglin was one of the most noted actresses on the American stage in her time, having gained the admiration of Sarah Bernhardt, the greatest actress of the age. [5][31]
A. E. Anson September 14, 1879 June 25, 1936 British Shakespearian actor who appeared in a vaudeville sketch entitled 1690 which he wrote himself. [32]
Capt. Adrian C. "Cap" Anson April 17, 1852 April 14, 1922 American Former baseball player who appeared in a sketch in 1913 with a monologue and short dance. He reappeared with his daughters in 1921. [33]
Dave Apollon 1898 May 30, 1972 Russian-American Mandolinist. Apollon arrived in the US from Russia in 1921. Finding success in vaude, Apollon appeared as an emcee at the Palace and also appeared with his Filipino Orchestra on the last two-a-day program there, May 7, 1932. He also appeared in the final vaudeville presentation at the Loew's State Theatre, New York City, December 23, 1947. [34]
Macklyn Arbuckle July 9, 1866 March 31, 1931 American Character actor who toured vaudeville in the sketch, The Welcher in 1910. Arbuckle made his stage debut in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1888 and his New York debut in 1900. He found success playing "homespun" type characters and eventually he moved into film, creating the San Antonio Pictures Corporation. [35][36][37]
Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle March 24, 1887 June 29, 1933 American Arbuckle was a portly comic actor who was mentored by vaudeville veteran, Leon Errol. After leaving the stage, Arbuckle became a well-known comedian in silent films, eventually partnering with Buster Keaton. His career was destroyed by accusations that he murdered a young actress. Following two trials ending in hung juries and a final trial that acquitted him, Arbuckle's career was ruined. He would not return to motion pictures until 1932. [38]
Harold Arlen February 15, 1905 April 23, 1986 American Pianist, musician and composer. Among his more well-known songs are "Stormy Weather", "Get Happy" and songs for the movie-musical, The Wizard of Oz. [39]
Armida May 29, 1911 October 23, 1989 American Mexican-American singer and actress discovered while performing with her sister, Dolores, in Los Angeles. After becoming a part of Gus Edwards' vaudeville troupe, she made a number of films, including 1930's On the Border with John Barrymore and Rin-Tin-Tin. [40]
Julia Arthur May 3, 1868 March 28, 1950 Canadian Actress from the legitimate stage who appeared at the Palace in May 1917 in a sketch called Liberty Aflame . As well as working onstage, Arthur made 10 silent films from 1908 to 1919. [41][42]
Adele and Fred Astaire American Ballroom dance duo with Fred Astaire (May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987) and his sister, Adele (September 10, 1896 – January 25, 1981). The duo first appeared in vaudeville in 1912, but as Fred was underage, the duo did not return until 1916, when they toured many vaudeville circuits. [43][44]
Roscoe Ates January 20, 1896 March 1, 1962 American Comedian known for his portrayals of comic, stuttering characters. Ates later appeared in films. [34]
Cholly Atkins September 13, 1913 April 19, 2003 American Tap dancer in a noted dance act with Charles "Honi" Coles. Later Atkins became a choreographer for Motown. [45]
Lionel Atwill March 1, 1885 April 22, 1946 British An actor, Atwill toured with Lillie Langtry as her leading man in the play, Ashes during 1915. Following his stage career, Atwill worked in Hollywood, appearing in many horror films during the 1930s and 1940s. His career was cut short by a scandal involving an orgy at his home where a young woman was raped. [46][47]
Adrienne Augarde May 12, 1882 March 17, 1913 British Singer and stage actress, [48]
Gene Austin June 24, 1900 January 24, 1972 American Singer and songwriter who first appeared in vaudeville in the early 1920s. He performed as one of the first "crooners." Austin appeared on radio in 1923 and began recording as "The Voice of the Southland." [49]
Lovie Austin September 19, 1887 July 10, 1972 American Jazz pianist who toured extensively in vaude, often with her own band, the "Blues Serenaders." [50][51]

B[edit]

Name Birth Death Nationality Performance notes Reference
Frank Bacon January 16, 1864 November 19, 1922 American Actor and playwright, appeared in vaudeville skits and playlets. Father of Lloyd Bacon. [52]
Lloyd Bacon December 4, 1889 November 15, 1955 American Broadway actor who, following a season in vaudeville went to Hollywood where he became a director with Warner Bros. after appearing as an actor in nearly 40 films. [53]
Pearl Bailey March 29, 1918 August 17, 1990 American Singer and actress who followed vaudeville with a career onstage, on film and on TV. She garnered a Tony Award for her role on Broadway in Hello, Dolly!. [54]
Belle Baker December 25, 1893 April 29, 1957 American Baker first ventured onstage with the encouragement of actor, Jacob Adler and later, producer, Lew Leslie. Her debut in vaudeville was in Scranton, Pennsylvania at the age of 15 and she debuted in big-time vaudeville at Hammerstein's Theatre in New York in 1911. As a singer and actress, she established her name in vaudeville as "The Ragtime Singer." Baker is one of the Palace headliners who performed there numerous times. Her Palace debut was in 1913, when she sang the song, "Cohen Owes Me Ninety-Seven Dollars." Following vaudeville she appeared on Broadway and on the radio. [55][56]
Josephine Baker June 3, 1906 April 12, 1975 American Baker debuted as a chorus girl in vaudeville and in the revues Shufflin' Along, The Chocolate Dandies, and Runnin' Wild. Following that she left the US to become a dancer and singer in the cabarets and nightclubs of Paris. [57]
Phil Baker 324 August 1896 December 1, 1963 American Pianist, accordionist and comedian who began in a double act with Ben Bernie on violin. Originally a serious musical act, over time it developed comic elements. Following their split, both comedians became successful in their own right. Baker headlined at the Palace in 1930 and 1931. He later enjoyed a career on Broadway in musicals and later radio. [58][59]
Nikita Balieff c. 1877 September 3, 1936 Armenian Singer, dancer, actor, monologist and impresario of the Chauve-Souris comedy troupe. [60]
Ernest Ball July 21, 1878 May 3, 1927 American Accompanist, singer and songwriter known for writing sentimental ballads, usually with Irish themes such as "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling." Ball appeared at the Palace in 1923 and 1926 and died the next year in his dressing room at the Yost Theatre in Santa Ana, California while on tour with his singing group, "Ernie Ball and His Gang." [61]
Barbette December 9, 1904 August 5, 1975 American After seeing an aerialist in a circus, Vander Clyde or Van der Clyde (his real name) desired to become one. He responded to an ad in Billboard for the Alfaretta Sisters, an aerial act, who were looking for a replacement member. He began dressing as a female on their encouragement and continued to do so after leaving the act. In 1923, he traveled to Britain and then Paris, where he became the talk of the town. He toured Europe and returned to the US to continue in vaudeville. Following his stage career, Barbette continued to work with performers for various circuses. [62]

[63][64]

Ben Bard January 26, 1893 May 17, 1974 American Comedian, in a duo with Jack Pearl. [59]
Wilkie Bard March 19, 1870 March 5, 1944 British Comedian and singer. [65][66]
Reginald Barlow June 17, 1866 July 6, 1943 American Actor and minstrel. Appeared at the age of 9 with the minstrel troupe of Barlow, Wilson, Primrose and West. Later he became a film actor. [67]
The Barrison Sisters Swedish Five sisters who performed risqué songs and dances. The sisters were Lona, Sophia, Inger, Olga and Gertrude Barrison. [68]
Ethel Barrymore August 15, 1879 June 18, 1959 American Actress who appeared in "tab" versions of her hits in the legitimate theatre as well as one-act plays. Barrymore's debut in vaudeville was in the one-act play, Civilization by Richard Harding Davis at the Palace Theatre the week of April 28, 1913. In 1914, Barrymore toured in Drifted Apart and later toured the Oprheum circuit in J. M. Barrie's The Twelve Pound Look with a salary of $3000 a week. The Twelve Pound Look played the Palace, June 1921 and in September and December 1926. [65][69][70]
John Barrymore February 14, 1882 May 29, 1942 American Actor, Appeared in a sketch called, His Wedding Morn', caused a sensation on Broadway in Justice and later for his portrayals of Hamlet and Richard III. [65][71]
Lionel Barrymore April 28, 1878 November 15, 1954 American Actor from the legitimate stage who appeared in a sketch of Bartley Campbell's play, The White Slave, with Doris Rankin. He also toured in The Still Voice in 1914. [65][71][72]
Maurice Barrymore September 21, 1849 March 26, 1905 British Actor on the "legitimate stage", Barrymore made his vaudeville debut in a one-act version of Augustus Thomas' play, A Man of the World, and headlined many other sketches. [65][71]
Charles Barton 1902 1981 American Actor. [73]
Eileen Barton November 24, 1929 June 27, 2006 American Sang "Ain't Misbehavin'" in her parents vaudeville act at the age of 2 in Kansas City, Missouri. At the age of 3½, Barton appeared at the Palace as part of Ted Healy's routine. Barton later became a noted popular music singer. [74]
James Barton November 1, 1890 February 19, 1962 American Comic dancer who made his stage debut at the age of 2. Barton appeared in vaudeville at the age of 4, working steadily in stock and repertory theatre as well. His New York stage debut was in The Passing Show of 1919 and from there on he appeared in many musicals during the 1920s, appearing in vaudeville between roles. [75][76]
Billy Barty October 25, 1924 December 23, 2000 American Diminutive, juvenile actor, Barty originally appeared in film. He appeared in vaudeville with his sisters in an act called "Billy Barty and His Sisters", where he played the drums and did impressions. Later, Barty founded two service organizations for people with dwarfism. [77]
Count Basie August 21, 1904 April 26, 1984 American Pianist, bandleader and composer. Before the age of 20, Basie was touring on the Keith circuit and later, the Columbia Burlesque and T. O. B. A. circuits as a pianist, accompanist and musical director for singers, dancers and comedians. [78][79][80]
Blanche Bates August 25, 1873 December 25, 1941 American Actress of the legitimate stage who appeared at the Palace in December 1918 in The World Mother. Additionally, she would play vaudeville houses in between engagements. Bates debuted in 1897 with Augustin Daly's company later working with David Belasco. [81][82]
Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates October 11, 1907 December 6, 1998 American Rhythm tap dancer with only one leg. [83]
Warner Baxter March 29, 1889 May 7, 1951 American Actor. Later won the 1929 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as the Cisco Kid in the film In Old Arizona. [84]
Nora Bayes October 8, 1880 June 19, 1928 American Singer and comedian who toured with her husband, Jack Norworth from 1908 to 13. She introduced such standards as 'Shine on Harvest Moon' and Cohan's 'Over There.' [69][85]
Beverly Bayne November 11, 1894 August 18, 1982 American Actress with her husband, Francis X. Bushman. Bayne and Bushman, following successful careers in silent films, appeared at the Palace in a comedy sketch, Poor Rich Man. The couple toured vaudeville throughout the 1920s. Unable to revive her film career in the late 1920s, following her divorce from Bushman, Bayne worked the rest of her life onstage. [86][87]
George Beauchamp 1899 1941 American Violin and steel lap guitar player. Beauchamp developed the first commercially available electric guitar. [88]
George Beban 1873 October 5, 1928 American Known for his Italian characters. Beban began playing French characters but once he began working in film, he played Italian characters. His initial act involved recitation of a poem called, "Mia Rosa." Beban created a one-act play from the poem, The Sign of the Rose, in which he toured vaudeville for seven years. A full-length version, also by Beban, premiered at the Garrick Theatre in New York in 1911. Beban signed with silent film director and producer, Thomas Ince, after his work in vaudeville and appeared in a number of films including a version of The Sign of the Rose called The Alien. [89]
Martin Beck 1867 November 16, 1940 Austrian-American Actor and later one of the top vaudeville theatre owners. [91]
Digby Bell November 8, 1849 June 20, 1917 American Comic actor, Bell began his stagework as a singer, but eventually made his mark as a comedian. Bell was the leading comic in Lillian Russell's company and spent much of his later life in plays and vaudeville. [92]
Robert Benchley September 15, 1889 November 21, 1945 American Actor and monologist. [93]
Chief Bender May 3, 1883 May 22, 1954 American Former basbeball player who did an act with Kathryn Pearl called Learning the Game by George Totten Smith with music by Arthur Behim. [23]
Bennie Benjamin November 4, 1907 May 2, 1989 American Guitarist and banjo player with a number of bands, Benjamin would become a major songwriter following his work in vaude. [94]
Belle Bennett April 22, 1891 November 4, 1932 American Trapeze artist and later silent film actress, Bennett, following a career in vaudeville, entered film in 1916 and worked through the end of the age of silent films. [95]
Richard Bennett 1870 1944 American Actor who appeared in a sketch from the play The Common Man. [5]
Jack Benny February 14, 1894 December 26, 1974 American Comedian and actor, known for his comedic violin playing (a leftover from his stage routine) and for constantly presenting the idea that he is 39 years young. His radio and TV programs featured his wife Mary, comedian Don Wilson as announcer, and character actor Eddie Anderson as Benny's valet Rochester. [96]
Edgar Bergen February 16, 1903 September 30, 1978 American Ventrilogquist with his dummy, Charlie McCarthy. [97]
Valerie Bergere February 8, 1867 September 16, 1938 French-born American Actress, headlined in vaudeville for 17 years [98]
Sammy Berk c. 1894 1983 American Novelty dancer. [99]
Milton Berle July 12, 1908 March 27, 2002 American Comedian and actor, later known as "Mr. Television" for pulling in record numbers in TV's early days for his "Texaco Star Theater". [100]
Irving Berlin May 11, 1888 September 22, 1989 American Musician and songwriter. Known for such songs as "Alexander's Ragtime Band", "White Christmas", "Easter Parade", "There's No Business Like Show Business", and "God Bless America." [101]
Sam Bernard June 5, 1863 May 16, 1927 British Actor, "Dutch" comedian and monologist known for his German characterizations. In 1885, Bernard toured the British music hall circuit later appearing at the Palace in January 1914 and March 1926. [102]
Sarah Bernhardt October 23, 1844 March 26, 1923 French Actress, known as "The Divine Sarah" and "The First Lady of the Theater" [103]
Ben Bernie May 30, 1891 October 20, 1943 American Violinist and comedian. Had an act with Phil Baker. [104]
Joe Besser August 12, 1907 March 1, 1988 American Besser first began in show business as a song plugger and magician's assistant. He worked his way up to being a comedian and headlined with acts such as Olsen and Johnson. After appearing on radio, Besser appeared on film and was a member of the Three Stooges for two years. [105]
Amelia Bingham March 20, 1869 September 1, 1927 American Actress of the "legit" stage, Bingham appeared in vaudeville at the Palace in July 1909 in Big Moments from Great Plays, which included excerpts from six plays. Bingham was discovered by a traveling actor while she was waiting tables in her father's hotel while on break from Ohio Wesleyan University. Following her Broadway debut in 1893, Bingham was noted for her sparkling performances in comedies and melodramas. In addition to her performances, Bingham also managed the Bijou Theatre in New York beginning in 1900 and organized her own stock company. [5][106][107]
Billie Bird February 28, 1908 November 27, 2002 American Actress and comedian who was discovered in an orphanage. Bird toured with the group for some time before creating an act with another girl called, "The King Sisters" which toured the Keith-Orpheum circuit. After vaudeville began to fade, Bird toured in musicals and comedies and on the nightclub circuit. She also worked in film and on television. [108]
Harry Blackstone, Sr. September 27, 1885 November 16, 1965 American Magician. [109]
J. Stuart Blackton January 5, 1875 August 13, 1941 British-American Stage cartoonist billed as Komikal Kartoonist in an act with his friends Albert E. Smith the Komikal Konjuror and Ronald A. Reader who operated a magic lantern. [110]
Block and Sully American Husband and wife comic duo composed of Jesse Block (December 16, 1900 – March 22, 1983) and Eve Sully (1902 – August 7, 1990). [111]
Joan Blondell August 30, 1909 December 25, 1979 American Actress. She joined her parents' act at 3, leaving the act in 1926 for Broadway and later Hollywood. [112][113]
Lew Bloom August 8, 1859 American Comic monologist and "society tramp." [114][115]
Ben Blue September 12, 1901 March 7, 1975 Canadian Comedian and dancer. [114]
Ray Bolger January 10, 1904 January 15, 1987 American Dancer and actor known for his "loose-limbed, comic" dancing style. Appeared on Broadway in On Your Toes and By Jupiter. Best known film role is the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. [116][117]
Bessie Bonehill February 17, 1855 August 21, 1902 British Male impersonator, Bonehill first appeared on the American vaudeville in 1889. She worked heavily in the British music hall as well as playing the principal boy in British pantomimes. [118]
Irène Bordoni January 16, 1895 March 19, 1953 French Chanteuse and musical theatre star. Bordoni's first appeared in the chorus at the Théâtre des Variétés in Paris at the age of 13. She traveled to the US and began appearing on the vaudeville and the Broadway stages in 1912. The following year she toured the Orpheum circuit with Melville Ellis in tow as both accompanist and costume designer. From 1915 to 28, Bordoni appeared in a number of Broadway musicals but in vaudeville in her spare time. She appeared at the Palace in May and November 1927 and September 1930. After her retirement, she made occasional appearances on Broadway before dying while on tour in the musical, South Pacific. [119]
Boswell Sisters American Trio of singing sisters composed of Meldania "Martha" Boswell (1905–1958), Constance Foore "Connee" Boswell (December 3, 1907 – October 11, 1976), and Helvetia George "Vet" Boswell (May 20, 1911 – 1988). [120]
Hobart Bosworth August 11, 1867 December 30, 1943 American Actor appearing in a sketch from the play Sea Wolf. Bosworth was already an accomplished stage actor having worked with the companies of McKee Rankin and Augustin Daly as well as with some of the leading ladies of the day. After contracting tuberculosis, Bosworth traveled west and became a leading man at the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles, where he also founded the Hobart Bosworth Institute of Dramatic Arts. He entered silent films in 1909 and created Bosworth Incorporated in order to create feature films based on the works of Jack London. In 1917, Bosworth and Ethel Grey Terry, toured in a sketch of London's Sea Wolf. [5][121]
Ray Bourbon 1893 July 19, 1971 American Female impersonator. [120]
Eddie Bracken February 7, 1915 November 14, 2002 American Actor and comedian, started in films as a child and later appeared as comic foil in numerous feature films. [122]
Hugh Bradley May 23, 1885 January 26, 1949 American Baseball player who appeared with the Boston Red Sox Quartette in 1912. The quartet included Buck O'Brien, Marty Hale and Bill Lyons. [123]
Nellie Breen c. 1898 1986 American She appeared in a double act with Lester Allen. [20]
El Brendel March 25, 1890 April 9, 1964 American Comedian. [124]
Jay Brennan December 6, 1882 January 14, 1961 American Comedian. Played the "straight man" to Bert Savoy. [54][125]
Walter Brennan July 25, 1894 September 21, 1974 American Actor. [126]
Herbert Brenon January 13, 1880 June 22, 1958 American Had a comic duo with his wife, Helen Oberg. Later he was a Hollywood screenwriter. [127]
Elizabeth Brice c. 1885 1965 American When she performed in vaudeville with Charles King they were known as Brice and King. [128][129]
Fanny Brice October 29, 1891 May 29, 1951 American Comedian and singer known for comedic songs, except for "My Man", and her portrayal of bratty Baby Snooks. The Ziegfeld Follies regular was famously portrayed by Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl and Funny Lady. [130]
Lottie Briscoe April 19, 1883 March 21, 1950 American Starred in a 1919 vaudeville skit by George Kelly entitled Mrs. Wellington's Surprise [131]
James Brockman December 8, 1886 May 22, 1967 American After beginning as a comedian in vaudeville, Brockman worked in musicals before settling in Hollywood as a songwriter. [132]
Helen Broderick August 11, 1891 September 25, 1959 American Singer-comedian who made her stage debut in the chorus of the Ziegfeld Follies of 1907. After becoming a comedian, she developed a caustic, wisecracking style and appeared in both musical comedies and vaudeville. Later Broderick worked in Hollywood. [133][134]
Harry Brooks September 20, 1895 June 22, 1970 American Pianist and songwriter. [135]
Shelton Brooks May 4, 1886 September 6, 1975 American Singer, pianist and songwriter. Many of Brooks' songs were composed for vaudeville singer, Sophie Tucker and among them, the song, "Some of These Days", which became one of Tucker's best known songs. Her 1911 recording of this song was selected in 2004 to be added to the National Recording Registry, ensuring its preservation in the Library of Congress. [136][137]
Heywood Broun December 7, 1888 December 18, 1939 American Drama critic who worked as a monologuist in vaudeville and appearing at the Palace. Broun began working for the New York Tribune in 1912 and went to serve as the drama critic for the New York World from 1921 to 1928 and also as the drama editor for Vanity Fair. [138][139]
Joe E. Brown July 28, 1892 July 6, 1973 American Comedian with the Bell Prevost Trio, Brown was often billed as "The Corkscrew Kid." Brown made his screen debut in 1928 and quickly became one of the leading comedians in Hollywood and later on television, thanks in part to his mouth and yells. Among his best known film roles is the millionaire, Osgood Fielding, in the 1959 film, Some Like It Hot. [19][140]
Nacio Herb Brown February 22, 1896 September 28, 1964 American Pianist and songwriter. Brown was accompanist to performer, Alice Doll, and toured with her on the Orpheum Circuit. Certainly one of his best known songs is "Singin' in the Rain", which he wrote with lyricist, Arthur Freed. [141][142]
Tom Brown June 3, 1888 March 25, 1958 American Trombonist and leader of Tom Brown's Band from Dixieland. Also put together the vaudeville band, the "Five Rubes" which disbanded shortly thereafter. [143][144][145]
Bothwell Browne March 7, 1877 December 12, 1947 Danish Female impersonator with a brief career; headlined at the Palace in 1919. [146]
Frank Browning 1882 1948 American Former basbeball player who was in a quartet with 3 other baseball players around 1925. The three other singers were George Crable, Tom Dillon and Kid Gleason. [33]
Peaches Browning June 23, 1910 August 23, 1956 American Actress, known best for her marriage at the age of 16 to Edward Browning, a 51-year-old real estate mogul. Shortly after their marriage, Peaches filed for divorce and her fame lead her to appear in vaudeville. [147]
Tod Browning July 12, 1880 October 6, 1962 American Actor. Later a Hollywood director who directed Dracula and Freaks. [148]
Brox Sisters American Trio of singing sisters consisting of Dagmar Brock, born Josephine and later called Bobbe (1900 – May 2, 1999), Kathleen, later known as Patricia (June 14, 1903 – 1988), and Eunice, later called Lorayne (d. 1993). [149][150][151]
Buck and Bubbles American Dance duo with Ford Lee "Buck" Washington (October 16, 1903 – January 31, 1955) and John W. "Bubbles" Sublett (February 19, 1902 – May 18, 1986). [152]
John Bunny September 21, 1863 April 26, 1915 American Actor, comedians, and minstrel. Later a film star. [153]
Neil Burgess 1846 1910 American Female impersonator, mostly playing elderly widows. [154]
Smiley Burnette March 18, 1911 February 16, 1967 American Singer. Later worked with Gene Autry and performed onscreen in Westerns. [155]
Burns and Allen American Comic duo consisting of George Burns (January 20, 1896 – March 9, 1996) and his wife, Gracie Allen (July 26, 1895 – August 27, 1964). Their radio and television shows proved their enduring popularity, thanks in part to Gracie's scatterbrained publicity stunts. [69][156]
Pesach Burstein 1896 1986 Polish-American Actor, comedian and singer mostly in Yiddish vaudeville with his family. Burstein, his kids and his wife, Lillian Lux are profiled in the 2002 documentary, The Komediant. [157]
Mae Busch June 18, 1891 April 19, 1946 Australian Actress and comedian who found success in American vaudeville and later appeared in a number of Laurel and Hardy films. [158]
Francis X. Bushman January 10, 1883 August 23, 1966 American Actor who toured with his wife, actress Beverly Bayne. Following his initial silent film career in Hollywood, where he had become a matinee idol, Bushman and Bayne appeared at the Palace in the comedy sketch, Poor Rich Man in 1921 and toured various circuits throughout the 1920s. Bushman returned to Hollywood and continued work in film. [86][87]
Butterbeans and Susie American Comic duo composed of Jodie Edwards (1895–1967) and his wife, Susie Hawthorne (1896–1963). Their act was composed of duets and comedy routines about marital troubles. The duo was active on the TOBA circuit. [159]

C[edit]

Name Birth Death Nationality Performance notes Reference
James Cagney July 17, 1899 March 30, 1986 American Actor, before winning an Academy Award, Cagney dressed in drag for a comedy act with four other actors. After several other bit parts on the stage, Cagney was spotted by Al Jolson while appearing in the musical Penny Arcade and was soon signed to a Warner Bros. contract. [160][161]
Marie Cahill February 7, 1870 August 23, 1933 American Singer and actress. [160][162]
Cab Calloway December 25, 1907 November 18, 1994 American Musician and bandleader. Calloway headlined at the Palace in June 1931 and at the Loew's State Theatre in 1932. Most famous song is "Minnie the Moocher". [164]
Emma Calvé August 15, 1858 January 6, 1942 French Operatic soprano. [165]
Mrs. Patrick Campbell February 9, 1865 April 9, 1940 British Actress from the legitimate stage who appeared in vaudeville in Expiation (a Russian tragedy). [166][167][168]
Judy Canova November 20, 1913 August 5, 1983 American Comedian and singer. Performed with her brother and sister in an act called the "Three Georgia Crackers" and later in an act called "Annie, Judy & Zeke." [169]
Eddie Cantor January 31, 1892 October 10, 1964 American Singer and comedian who often appeared in blackface. Appeared in various editions of the Ziegfeld Follies and Broadway musicals such as Kid Boots and Whoopee!. [170]
Cardini 1894 November 11, 1975 Welsh Sleight-of-hand magician [171]
Mutt Carey 1891 September 3, 1948 American Jazz trumpeter who toured the vaudeville circuits in 1917. [172]
Leo Carrillo August 6, 1881 September 10, 1961 American Character actor. [173]
Richard Carle July 7, 1871 June 28, 1941 American Comic actor who appeared in vaudeville in 1914 in A Slice of Life where he played Mr. Hyphen-Brown and in April 1915 in If We Said What We Thought. Carle debuted on the New York stage in 1891 and performed primarily in musicals until 1913 when he left the stage for vaudeville. [174][175]
Alan Carney December 22, 1909 May 2, 1973 American Comic dialectician. Later worked on Broadway and in films of the 1940s where he was partnered with comic Wally Brown. [176]
Georges Carpentier January 12, 1894 October 28, 1975 French Former boxer and song and dance man. [177]
Harry Carroll November 28, 1892 December 26, 1962 American Songwriter, pianist and singer. [178]
Mrs. Leslie Carter June 10, 1862 November 13, 1937 American Actress of the legitimate stage who toured vaudeville in the role of Zaza, one of her most famous roles from the play by David Belasco. [179]
Emma Carus March 18, 1879 November 18, 1927 German Singing comedian who first appeared in vaudeville at Proctor's 23rd Street Theatre in New York in 1894. From 1915 onwards, she performed mostly in vaudeville. [180][181]
Diana Serra Cary October 26, 1918 American Juvenile actress billed as Baby Peggy. Following her film career, Baby Peggy worked in vaude, making $1500 a week, but with the death of vaudeville, Baby Peggy's career was over as well. [182]
Charlie Case 1858 1916 American Blackface singer and pioneering monologist. [166][183]
Vernon and Irene Castle American (Irene) and British (Vernon) Ballroom dance team consisting of Vernon (May 2, 1887 – February 15, 1918) and his wife, Irene (April 17, 1893 – January 25, 1969). Introduced such dances as the foxtrot and tango to U.S. audiences. [160]
Walter Catlett February 4, 1889 November 14, 1960 American Comedian who worked in vaudeville and on the legitimate stage before working in film. [184]
Joseph Cawthorn March 29, 1868 April 17, 1959 American Minstrel and comedian, Joseph Cawthorn, made his stage debut at the age of 4 at Robinson's Music Hall in New York City. Later, he joined Haverly's Minstrels in 1872 and worked in vaudeville as a Dutch dialect comedian. He continued working in musical comedies and in 1926, made his screen debut. [185][186][187]
Lon Chaney, Sr. April 1, 1883 August 26, 1930 American Actor, "the Man of a Thousand Faces" later scared moviegoers after years in vaudeville houses in films such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera.
Charlie Chaplin April 16, 1889 December 25, 1977 British-American Actor and comedian, toured the US with the Fred Karno troupe in 1910 and 1912–1913 before being signed by Mack Sennett the following year.|[188]
Chaz Chase 1902 August 4, 1983 American Comedian whose act was to seemingly eat all manner of inedible objects, such as matches and paper (in reality he would turn upstage and spit them into his oversized top hat). [189]
Dave Chasen July 18, 1898 June 16, 1973 Russian-American Comedian who worked with Joe Cook. [189]
Doc Cheatham June 13, 1905 June 2, 1997 American Trumpeter, singer and bandleader who toured TOBA working in bands accompanying blues singers. [190]
Cherry Sisters American An act consisting of five sisters, Addie, Effie, Ella, Elizabeth and Jessie Cherry who sang, danced and acted. It was known as the worst act in vaudeville and audiences often attended to hurl produce and catcalls at them. [191][192]
Albert Chevalier March 21, 1861 July 10, 1923 British British music hall actor and comedian. [166]
Frank Christian September 3, 1887 November 27, 1973 American Trumpeter.
Ching Ling Foo 1854 1922 Chinese Magician. [193]
Chung Ling Soo April 2, 1861 March 24, 1918 American Magician. [194]
Paul Cinquevalli June 30, 1859 July 14, 1918 German Juggler. [195]
Ina Claire October 15, 1893 February 21, 1985 American Singer-comedian Ina Claire made her vaudeville debut in 1907 impersonating Harry Lauder. Her first appearance on the musical stage was in 1911 and she debuted at the Palace Theatre in 1915. She toured vaudeville on the Orpheum, Keith and Proctor circuits and appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1915 and 1916. She continued on the stage in musical comedies. [196][197]
Bobby Clark June 16, 1888 February 12, 1960 American Comedian. Member, with Paul McCullough, of the comic team of Clark and McCullough. [198]
Bessie Clayton 1878 July 21, 1948 American Dancer. [199]
Loretta Clemens Tupper May 6, 1906 September 17, 1990 American Singer and musician, performed with her brother Jack Clemens.
Stanley Clements July 16, 1926 October 16, 1981 American Actor and comedian.
Laddie Cliff September 13, 1891 December 8, 1937 British Eccentric dancer. [200]
Kathleen Clifford February 16, 1887 December 28, 1962 American Male impersonator billed as "The Smartest Chap in Town" who appeared in a top hat, tails and a monocle. Clifford's first appearance on the legitimate stage came in 1903 in the musical comedy, The Girl from Kay's. She worked in film from 1917 to 1928 returning to vaudeville in the 1930s. [201][202]
Herbert Clifton October 19, 1885 September 26, 1947 British Female impersonator and singer. [203]
Maggie Cline January 1, 1857 June 11, 1934 American Irish American singer whose vigorous persona and hearty performances of Irish songs made her an immensely popular figure in the heydey of the vaudeville stage. [204]
E. E. Clive August 28, 1879 June 6, 1940 British Actor.
June Clyde December 2, 1909 October 1, 1987 American Actress, singer and dancer billed as "Baby Tetrazini." Clyde began working in vaudeville at the age of seven progressing to stage musicals and eventually appearing in films in 1929. [205]
Ty Cobb December 18, 1886 July 17, 1961 American Former basbeball player. [33]
Imogene Coca November 18, 1908 June 2, 2001 American Comedian who was born into a showbiz family. Coca's first stagework came at the age of 11 as a dancer and she worked in nightclubs and vaudeville houses before being discovered as a comedian. In the 1950s, Coca began work on television with comedian, Sid Caesar. Her work in TV spanned decades. [206][207]
Ann Codee March 5, 1890 May 18, 1961 Belgian Comedian who toured with her husband, Frank Orth. Their act toured the world and could be performed in 5 languages. [208]
Cole and Johnson American Singing and dancing duo consisting of Bob Cole (July 1, 1869 – August 2, 1911) and J. Rosamond Johnson (August 11, 1873 – November 11, 1954). [209]
Michael Coleman 1889 1945 Irish Irish fiddler.
Charles "Honi" Coles April 2, 1911 November 12, 1992 American Tap dancer. [210]
Lottie Collins 1866 May 1, 1910 British Singer-comedian. Most well known for popularizing the song, "Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay!." [211]
Pinto Colvig September 11, 1892 October 3, 1967 American Comedian, the voice of Goofy in Disney cartoons and was the first Bozo the Clown.
Chester Conklin January 11, 1886 October 11, 1971 American Comedian and actor. Later worked as one of Mack Sennett's Keystone Kops and appeared in some of Charlie Chaplin's films. [212]
Conlin and Glass October 14, 1884 May 7, 1962 American Comic duo consisting of Jimmy Conlin (October 14, 1884 – May 7, 1962) and his wife, Myrtle Glass.
Jackie Coogan October 26, 1914 March 1, 1984 American Child actor, best known as Charlie Chaplin's sidekick in The Kid and (as an adult) as Uncle Fester on TV's The Addams Family. The infamous Coogan Law is named after him. [213]
Elisha Cook Jr. December 26, 1902 May 18, 1995 American Actor. Cook first appeared onstage at the age of 14 and worked onstage in stock theatre, vaudeville and Broadway. His first film appearance was in 1929. [214]
Joe Cook 1890 May 16, 1959 American Born Joseph Lopez, Joe Cook first appeared in vaudeville in a juggling act with his brother, billed as "The Juggling Kids." He made one of his first solo appearances in July 1907 at Proctor's 125th Street Theatre, New York. He began incorporating comedy, props and monologues into his act and on January 2, 1922, he played the Palace. Following vaudeville, Cook appeared on Broadway and was heard on the radio. [215][216]
Baldwin Cooke March 10, 1888 December 31, 1953 American Actor who toured vaudeville with his wife, Alice and Stan Laurel.
John W. Cooper 1873 1966 American Ventriloquist with his dummy, Sam Jackson. [217]
James "Gentleman Jim" J. Corbett September 1, 1866 February 18, 1933 American Former boxer [218]
Maurice Costello February 22, 1877 October 30, 1950 American Actor and comedian. [219]
Willie Covan 1896 May 7, 1989 American Tap dancer. [220]
Ida Cox February 25, 1896 November 10, 1967 American Blues singer who toured in vaudeville from 1923 to 1929. One of the bandmembers accompanying her was Earl Palmer. [221]
Joseph E. Coyne March 27, 1867 February 17, 1941 American Comedian. [222]
Henry Creamer June 21, 1879 October 14, 1930 American Singer and songwriter.
Will Cressy October 20, 1863 May 7, 1930 American Actor and writer. [220]
Crumit and Sanderson American Husband and wife singing duo with Frank Crumit (September 26, 1888 – September 7, 1943) and Julia Sanderson (August 20, 1887 – January 27, 1975). [223]
Pauline Curley December 19, 1903 December 16, 2000 American From the age of 7, Curley appeared onstage, including in vaudeville, where she was a singer and dancer. From 1915 to 1928, Curley appeared in silent films. [224]

D[edit]

Name Birth Death Nationality Performance notes Reference
Dan Dailey December 4, 1913 October 16, 1978 American Dancer, singer and actor. [225]
Peter F. Dailey 1868 1908 American Comedian, one of the members of the popular act, "The American Four." His debut on the legitimate stage was with the Howard Atheneum Company. Later, he appeared with Weber and Fields. [226]
Dorothy Dalton September 22, 1893 April 13, 1972 American Actress.
Viola Dana June 28, 1897 July 3, 1987 American Actress. Before she worked in silent films, Dana worked extensively on the legitimate stage. Her first foray into vaudeville was in a playlet called There Goes the Bride which received bad reviews. She tried her hand at vaudeville again with a sketch by Anita Loos called, The Inkwell, supported by Edward Arnold which did much better. [227]
The Dancing Cansinos Spanish A family Spanish dancing act, The Dancing Cansinos included Eduardo Cansino, Sr. (March 2, 1895 – December 24, 1968), his wife, Volga Hayworth (1900 – February 5, 1945), daughter Rita Hayworth (October 17, 1918 – May 14, 1987), and son, Eduardo, Jr. (October 13, 1919 – March 11, 1974). [169]
Cow Cow Davenport April 23, 1894 December 12, 1955 American A Boogie-woogie and Piano Blues player as well as Vaudeville entertainer. Davenports first fame came as accompanist to blues musicians Dora Carr and Ivy Smith. Davenport and Carr had a Vaudeville act as Davenport & Co. [228]
Marion Davies January 3, 1897 September 23, 1961 American Actress and comedian. Davies appeared as a 'comic' chorine in vaudeville as well as the Ziegfeld Follies of 1916. [229]
Reine Davies June 6, 1886 April 5, 1938 American Singer and actress.
Benny Davis August 21, 1895 December 20, 1979 American Pianist, singer and songwriter. [230]
Joan Davis June 29, 1907 May 22, 1961 American Actress and comedian. [206]
Sammy Davis, Jr. December 8, 1925 May 16, 1990 American Dancer and singer, performed with his father and uncle as "The Will Maston Trio". As an adult, he became one of the most celebrated entertainers of his time and a member of the infamous Rat Pack with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. [231]
Sammy Davis, Sr. December 12, 1900 May 21, 1988 American Dancer. Father of Sammy Davis, Jr.. [231]
Hazel Dawn March 23, 1890 August 28, 1988 American Musical comedy actress. Dawn debuted in vaudeville at New York's Alhambra Theatre in 1923 in a sketch called, The Pink Lady. She appeared at the Palace in January 1924 in a playlet called, The Land of Love by Edgar Allen Woolf. Additionally, Dawn appeared in 11 feature films for the Famous Players Film Company between 1914–7. [232]
Mlle. Dazie September 16, 1884 August 12, 1952 American Toe-dancer. Dazie's first appearance in vaudeville was as "Le Domino Rouge" in an act where she wore a red mask. After she got rid of the mask, she was billed as "Mlle. Dazie" and it was under this name that she appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies. She toured the Keith circuit in a ballet panotmime, L'Amour d'Artiste and headlined the Palace in 1917 in another ballet pantomime directed by Herbert Brenon. [233]
Vaughn De Leath September 26, 1896 May 28, 1943 American Actress and singer. [234]
Dizzy Dean January 16, 1910 July 17, 1974 American Former basbeball player. [23]
Carter DeHaven October 5, 1886 July 20, 1977 American Comedian. [235]
Guido Deiro September 1, 1886 July 26, 1950 Italian-American piano-accordionist
Dorothy Dell January 30, 1915 June 28, 1934 American Singer and dancer in a duo with Allan Mann. [236]
William Demarest February 27, 1892 December 28, 1983 American Comedian and later character actor, popular in Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s, best known as "Uncle Charlie" on the TV sitcom My Three Sons. [237]
Gaby Deslys September 4, 1881 February 11, 1920 French Singer and dancer. [238]
Elliott Dexter March 29, 1870 November 21, 1949 American Actor. Later worked in silent films. [239]
William Dillon November 6, 1877 February 10, 1966 American Singer and songwriter. [240]
Henry E. Dixey January 6, 1859 February 25, 1943 American Actor, dancer and comedian. [241]
Lew Dockstader 1856 October 26, 1924 American Comedian and minstrel. [242]
Dolly Sisters Hungarian-American Twin sisters, Rosie and Jenny (October 25, 1892 – May 1, 1941 Jenny and 1 January 1970 Rosie) who had a dance act. [243]
Kitty Doner 1895 August 26, 1988 American Male impersonator and dancer. Of the male impersonators in vaude, Doner was the best known American-born male "imp". She was the first male impersonator to play the Palace, in 1919 and she played there again in May 1926. [244]
Mike Donlin May 30, 1878 September 24, 1943 American Former major league baseball player who entered vaudeville after marrying an actress, Mabel Hite. Acted in a one-act play, Stealing Home and later worked as a comedian with Tom Lewis. [245]
Jack Donohue December 29, 1888 October 1, 1930 American Dancer, singer and actor. Worked with his wife, Alice Stewart, as Donohue & Stewart. [246]
Red Dooin July 12, 1879 May 12, 1952 American Baseball player who appeared in vaudeville first with a singing act and a singing and talking act with Dumon's Minstrels in Philadelphia, 1910. [123]
Fifi D'Orsay April 16, 1907 December 2, 1982 Canadian Singer and Comedian. [247]
Billie Dove May 4, 1901 December 31, 1998 American Ziegfeld girl in the Follies of 1917 and 1918. Later, Dove appeared in films and was a minstress to William Randolph Hearst. [248]
Eddie Dowling December 9, 1894 February 18, 1976 American Actor and singer. [249]
Johnny Downs October 10, 1913 June 6, 1994 American Child actor who appeared in the Our Gang series of shorts along with several feature films. Following his film work, he appeared in vaudeville in the early 1930s. [250]
Thomas Nelson Downs March 16, 1867 September 1938 American Magician specializing in coin tricks.
Louise Dresser October 5, 1878 April 24, 1965 American Singer and actress. [251]
Marie Dressler November 9, 1869 July 28, 1934 Canadian Actress and comedian, who later found greater fame in movies such as Min and Bill and Dinner at Eight. [252]
Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drew American Husband and wife comic team with Sidney (August 28, 1868 – April 9, 1919) and Gladys Rankin Drew (c. 1874 – January 9, 1914). [253]
Dave Dreyer September 22, 1894 1967 American Pianist and songwriter.
Duffy and Sweeney American Knockabout comedy act consisting of James Terence Duffy (1889 – March 30, 1939) and Frederick Chase Sweeney (1894 – December 10, 1954). [254]
Margaret Dumont October 20, 1882 March 6, 1965 American Actress and singer, best known as the comic foil for the Marx Brothers, performed under the name "Daisy Dumont" before entering motion pictures.
Duncan Sisters American Singing sister act composed of Vivian (June 17, 1899 – September 19, 1986) and Rosetta Duncan (November 23, 1896 – December 4, 1959). [255]
James Dunn November 2, 1905 September 3, 1967 American Actor.
Jack Durant April 12, 1905 January 7, 1984 American Acrobat and comedian. [256]
Jimmy Durante February 10, 1893 January 29, 1980 American Comedian and actor, known for his huge nose. [257]
Walter Dyett January 11, 1901 November 17, 1969 American Violinist and conductor of vaudeville pit orchestras. Following his work in vaudeville, Dyett became a noted music educator working at Chicago's DuSable High School. As a music teacher and director of school ensembles, Dyett influenced many up-and-coming jazz, blues and rock musicians. [258]
Jacqueline Dyris Belgian Dancer.

E[edit]

Name Birth Death Nationality Performance notes Reference
Charles Eaton June 22, 1910 August 15, 2004 American Actor.
Mary Eaton January 29, 1901 October 10, 1948 American Singer, dancer, actress and Ziegfeld girl.
Pearl Eaton August 1, 1898 September 10, 1958 American Singer, dancer, actress and Ziegfeld girl.
Buddy and Vilma Ebsen April 2, 1908 July 6, 2003 American Husband and wife dance duo. Buddy later became known to millions of TV viewers in the 1960s and 1970s playing Jed Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies and playing the title role in Barnaby Jones. [259]
Gertrude Ederle October 23, 1905 November 30, 2003 American Competitive swimmer and first woman to swim across the English Channel. [260]
Cliff Edwards a.k.a. Ukulele Ike June 14, 1895 July 17, 1971 American Singer, ukulele player, minstrel, and musician. Later voiced Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio. [261]
Gus Edwards August 18, 1879 November 7, 1945 German-American Singer, songwriter and producer. Known for such songs as "School Days" and "In My Merry Oldsmobile." [262]
Kate Elinore ? December 30, 1924 American Singing comedian. [263]
Duke Ellington April 29, 1899 May 24, 1974 American Musician and bandleader who toured the RKO circuit beginning in 1927, headlining at the Palace in 1930. Ellington is considered by many to be one of the founders of modern jazz music. [263][264]
Julian Eltinge May 14, 1881 March 7, 1941 American Female impersonator and actor. [265]
June Elvidge June 30, 1893 May 1, 1965 American Actress.
Hope Emerson October 29, 1897 April 25, 1960 American Comedian known for her large build (6'2", 230 lbs.) who appeared in vaudeville and on Broadway in the 1920s and 1930s. Emerson began working in films in the early 1930s. [266]
Knute Erickson May 27, 1872 December 31, 1945 American Swedish comedian. [267]
Bert Erroll August 11, 1883 November 28, 1949 British Female impersonator. [268]
Leon Errol July 3, 1881 October 12, 1951 Australian Comedian. [269]
Ruth Etting November 23, 1896 September 24, 1978 American Singer and actress [270]
James Reese Europe February 22, 1881 May 9, 1919 American Bandleader of the ragtime "Society Orchestra" which accompanied Vernon and Irene Castle in their ballroom dance act. After serving in World War I and becoming the director of the 369th Infantry Band, Europe (now Lieutenant Europe) toured France and American vaudeville with the band. During this US tour, he began incorporating jazz elements into the ragtime music the band played. It was during this same tour that he was stabbed in the neck by one of his band members. [271][272]
Evan E. Evans and Helen Evans (née Hartz) American Married vaudeville performers Evan E. Evans (1889-1962) and Helen Hartz (1894-1974) toured the circuit until 1919. Later, they created "The Four Evans - Two Generations of Dance" with daughter Maryetta Evans (1912-2009) and son Lester Evans (1919-1989). The family toured from 1942-1960. [273]
George "Honey Boy" Evans March 10, 1870 March 12, 1915 American Minstrel. [274]
Lizzie Evans 1864 American Actress and comedian, who made her debut in 1881 at the Standard Theatre with an impersonation of Clip. She owned her own traveling company.

F[edit]

Name Birth Death Nationality Performance notes Reference
Nanette Fabray October 27, 1920 American Singer and actress. Started out as a child singer in vaudeville. [275]
Elinor Fair December 21, 1903 April 26, 1957 American Actress and one of the leading ladies of silent films. Fair made her start in vaudeville as well as musical comedies and stock companies. [276]
Dustin Farnum May 27, 1874 July 3, 1939 American Singer, dancer and actor with his brother, William Farnum. [277]
William Farnum July 4, 1876 June 5, 1953 American Singer, dancer and actor with his brother, Dustin Farnum. [277]
Edward M. Favor August 29, 1856 January 10, 1936 American Singer and comedian.
Anna Eva Fay ? May 12, 1927 American Mind reader. [278]
Elfie Fay
Elfie Fay 001.jpg
1881 September 18, 1927 American Comic singer. [279]
Frank Fay November 17, 1897 September 25, 1961 American Comedian. Considered the "father" of modern stand-up comedy. [279]
Alice Faye May 5, 1915 May 9, 1998 American Actress and singer. Faye's first professional appearance was as a singer and dancer at the age of 14. While appearing in George White's Scandals, Rudy Vallée spotted her and she later became a regular on his radio show. Faye became 20th Century Fox's biggest musical star before Betty Grable was hired in 1940. [280]
Frank Faylen December 8, 1905 August 2, 1985 American Pantomimist, clown and song and dance man. [280]
Louise Fazenda June 17, 1895 April 17, 1962 American Trapeze artist.
Arthur Fields August 6, 1888 March 29, 1953 American Singer, songwriter and minstrel. [281]
Benny Fields June 14, 1894 August 16, 1959 American Singer, minstrel, and actor. [282]
Gracie Fields January 9, 1898 September 27, 1979 British Singer and comedian, considered of the greatest stars of the British music halls. [283]
Sidney Fields February 5, 1898 September 28, 1975 American In a comedy team with Jack Greenman.
W. C. Fields January 29, 1880 December 25, 1946 American Legendary comedian and actor, who got his first show biz exposure by running away as a teenager and joining a circus as a juggler. Later on, Fields the comic appeared at the Palace not to mention several editions of the Ziegfeld Follies and George White's Scandals. His films, including It's a Gift and The Bank Dick incorporated many of his stage routines. [69][284][285]
Flora Finch June 17, 1869 January 4, 1940 British-American Born into a music hall family, Finch also made a splash in American vaudeville, appearing at the palace in January 1922. The actress also appeared with John Bunny in many films. [286]
Ella Fitzgerald April 25, 1917 June 15, 1996 American Singer, discovered after winning the Apollo Theater's amateur hour while still a teenager and worked the "Chitlin Circuit" (including the Cotton Club) with Chick Webb and his band before getting her first major record deal. [163]
Bud Flanagan March 29, 1908 August 31, 1968 American Appeared in family's vaudeville act from infancy. Appeared later in films as Dennis O'Keefe. [287]
Jay C. Flippen March 6, 1898 February 3, 1971 American White and blackface comedian. [288]
Henry Fonda May 16, 1905 October 14, 1977 American Actor who toured vaudeville with George A. Billings. [289]
Evan-Burrows Fontaine October 3, 1898 December 27, 1984 American Interpretive dancer and Ziegfeld Follies performer. [290]
Wallace Ford February 12, 1898 June 11, 1966 British Actor. [291]
Four Cohans American Family comedy troupe consisting of father Jeremiah "Jere" Cohan (1848–1917), mother Helen "Nellie" Costigan Cohan (1854–1928), daughter Josephine "Josie" Cohan Niblo (1874–1916) and son George M. Cohan (3 or July 4, 1878 – November 5, 1942). [69]
Harry Fox May 25, 1882 July 20, 1959 American Dancer and comedian. Creator of the Fox Trot. [292]
Imro Fox May 21, 1862 March 4, 1910 German-American Magician (The Comic Conjurer) [293]
Eddie Foy March 9, 1856 February 16, 1928 American Comedian and singer. [69][294]
Eddie Foy, Jr. February 4, 1905 July 15, 1983 American Son of Eddie Foy and a member of his Seven Little Foys. [295]
Irene Franklin June 13, 1876 June 16, 1941 American Singing comedian. [296]
Sidney Franklin 1903 April 6, 1976 American Bullfighter. [297]
William Frawley February 26, 1887 March 3, 1966 American Actor and comedian, later found greater fame as Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy [298]
Arthur Freed September 9, 1894 April 12, 1973 American Singer and pianist, later known for writing hit songs with Nacio Herb Brown such as "Singin' in the Rain" and "You Were Meant for Me" and for producing film musicals for MGM. [22]
Kathleen Freeman February 17, 1919 August 23, 2001 American Danced at an early age in her parent's vaudeville act.
Leopoldo Fregoli July 2, 1867 November 26, 1932 Italian Protean or quick-change artist. [299]
Ford Frick December 19, 1894 April 8, 1978 American Sportswriter who appeared in vaude. [23]
Trixie Friganza November 29, 1870 February 27, 1955 American Comedian and singer [300]
Frankie Frisch September 9, 1897 March 12, 1973 American Former basbeball player who appeared in vaude. [23]
Joe Frisco November 4, 1889 February 12, 1958 American Dancer, minstrel and comedian. [301]
Loie Fuller January 15, 1862 1 January 1929 American Dancer. [302]
Will Fyffe February 16, 1885 December 14, 1947 Scottish Comedian and singer. [303]

G[edit]

Name Birth Death Nationality Performance notes Reference
Gallagher and Shean American (Gallagher) and German-American (Shean) Comic duo consisting of Edward Gallagher (1873 – May 28, 1929) and Al Shean (May 12, 1868 – August 12, 1949). They had one of the biggest comic hits of the 1920s with their self-named song "Mister Gallagher and Mister Shean." Al Shean (real name Adolph Schönberg) was the uncle of The Marx Brothers [304]
Maria Galvany 1878 1949 Spanish Coloratura soprano.
Tess Gardella known as "Aunt Jemima" 1898 January 3, 1950 American Iconic blackface character played by Tess Gardella. [305]
Judy Garland June 10, 1922 June 22, 1969 American Singer and actress, toured with two elder siblings as "The Gumm Sisters" (their maiden name) from the age of 2. While in Chicago to perform at the 1934 World's Fair and the Oriental Theater, emcee George Jessel suggested to change their last name to "Garland" to not get laughs from the audience. Young Frances was a big fan of Rudy Vallée's song "Judy" so that stuck as the first name. Older sister Jimmie ran off and married a bandleader after the girls returned home to Lancaster, California. Judy was signed to a contract by MGM shortly thereafter. [306]
Paul Garner July 31, 1909 August 8, 2004 American Comedian.
William Gaxton December 2, 1893 February 2, 1963 American Actor. [307]
Charlie Gehringer May 11, 1903 January 21, 1993 American Baseball player who appeared in vaudeville. [23]
Gladys George September 13, 1904 December 8, 1954 American Toured with her family act, "The Three Clares", later called "Little Gladys George and Company." [308]
Sylvia Gerrish May 1860 December 8, 1906 American Musical comedy and light opera performer, known as the "Girl with the Poetical Legs" [309]
George Gershwin September 26, 1896 July 11, 1937 American Pianist, songwriter and composer, Gershwin accompanied Nora Bayes and Louise Dresser. After his brief foray into vaudeville, Gershwin became one of the most celebrated American composers of the early 20th century. [22]
Dorothy Gibson May 17, 1889 February 17, 1946 American Actress.
Ella Margaret Gibson September 14, 1894 October 21, 1964 American Actress.
Billy Gilbert September 12, 1894 September 23, 1971 American Comedian and actor known for his sneeze routines. [310]
L. Wolfe Gilbert August 31, 1886 July 12, 1970 Russian-American Singer and songwriter. [311]
Jack Gilford 1907 1990 American Actor and comedian. [312]
Charles Sidney Gilpin November 20, 1878 May 6, 1930 American Actor. [313]
Lottie Gilson 1867 June 10, 1912 American Soubrette and the first vaudevillian to use a singing stooge. [314]
George Givot 1903 or c. 1901 June 7, 1984 American Greek dialect comedian [315]
Billy Glasen September 10, 1904 American Singing comedian and monologist. [316]
Frank Glazer 1915 American Pianist.
Madeline Gleason 1903 1979 American Singer and dancer.
Elinor Glyn October 17, 1864 September 23, 1943 British Novelist and monologist (usually under her pen name "Madame Glyn"), coined the phrase "It Girl". [317]
George Fuller Golden 1868 February 17, 1912 American Singer, dancer and monologist. [318]
Horace Goldin December 17, 1867 August 22, 1939 Polish Magician, the first one to play the Palace in 1913. [318][319]
Lefty Gomez November 26, 1908 February 17, 1989 American Former baseball player and monologist. [33]
Nathaniel Carl Goodwin July 25, 1857 January 31, 1919 American Actor and comedian. [320]
David Gorcey February 6, 1921 October 23, 1984 American Singer. Later he became a noted disc jockey.
Bert Gordon April 8, 1895 November 30, 1974 American Comedian. [321]
Mack Gordon June 21, 1904 March 1, 1959 American Actor, singer, and songwriter [164]
Emmanuel Taylor Gordon 1893 1971 American Actor.
Morton Gould December 10, 1913 February 21, 1996 American Pianist.
Hank Gowdy August 24, 1889 August 1, 1966 American Former baseball player, singer and comedian. [33]
Archie Leach January 18, 1904 November 29, 1986 British Toured the US with the Penders acrobatic troupe. Was a stilt-walker with the Loumas troupe and served as leading man to actress, Jean Dalrymple, in one-act plays. Also appeared with Fay Wray and Jeanette MacDonald in several musical flops. When signed by Paramount Pictures in 1931, he was told he looked like a "Cary Grant", so his name was changed. [322]
Charles Grapewin December 20, 1869 February 2, 1956 American Actor and comedian, later known to millions of moviegoers as Dorothy's "Uncle Henry" in The Wizard of Oz. [19]
Gilda Gray October 24, 1901 December 22, 1959 Polish-American Dancer who introduced the "Shimmy", a dance involving the shaking of the hips. Gray starred in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1922 and George White's Scandals. Later appeared at the Palace Theater as a headliner. [323]
Gene Greene June 9, 1881 April 5, 1930 American Singer and composer.
Charlotte Greenwood June 25, 1890 December 28, 1977 American Dancer, actress, and comedian, known for her rubbery dance routines. [324]
Arthur F. Griffith July 30, 1880 December 25, 1911 American Mathematical prodigy.
Larry Griswold September 17, 1905 August 24, 1996 American Acrobat and gymnast.
Grock January 10, 1880 July 14, 1959 Swiss Clown. [325]
Yvette Guilbert January 20, 1865 February 2, 1944 French Chanteuse. [326]
Texas Guinan January 12, 1884 November 5, 1933 American Singer and famed nightclub hostess. [282]
Louise Gunning April 1, 1879 July 24, 1960 American Singer [327]

H[edit]

Name Birth Death Nationality Performance notes Reference
Janette Hackett 1898 August 16, 1979 American Dancer with Harry Delmar (September 9, 1892 – August 29, 1954) in the duo Hackett and Delmar. [328]
Joseph Paul Haggerty June 16, 1889 May 2, 1973 American Vaudeville actor, director and producer from New Orleans. Ran a travelling stock show called 'Haggerty Repertory' during the WWI-Era. Boris Karloff briefly worked for Haggerty in 1918. He settled in North Hollywood and became a pastor at a spiritual Unity Church. [329][330]
Jack Haley August 10, 1898 June 6, 1979 American Actor and comedian. [292][331]
Adelaide Hall October 20, 1904 November 7, 1993 British Blues singer. [332][333]
Nan Halperin 1898 May 30, 1963 Russian-American Singer and comedian [334]
Walter Hampden June 30, 1879 June 11, 1955 American Actor. [179]
Hunter Hancock 1916 August 4, 2004 American Singer. Later he became a noted disc jockey.
Lou Handman September 10, 1894 December 9, 1956 American Pianist and songwriter.
W. C. Handy November 16, 1873 March 28, 1958 American Musician and composer known as "The Father of the Blues." [335][336]
Fred Haney April 25, 1896 November 9, 1977 American Former baseball player. [23]
Poodles Hanneford 1892 December 9, 1967 British Clown and bareback horse rider [337]
Theodore Hardeen March 4, 1876 June 12, 1945 Hungarian Magician and escape artist; Harry Houdini's brother. [338]
Oliver Hardy January 18, 1882 August 7, 1957 American Was briefly a singer in Vaudeville in Florida in 1913 before entering films. Was teamed with Stan Laurel at Roach Studios forming Laurel and Hardy in the late 1920s.
Otis Harlan December 29, 1865 January 21, 1940 American Actor, minstrel, and comedian. Appeared in a burlesque called Hell by Renold Wolf in the first show at New York City's Folies Bergère, April 16, 1911. [339]
Ben Harney March 6, 1872 March 2, 1938 American Pianist, singer and songwriter. [340]
Harrigan and Hart American Comic duo composed of Edward Harrigan (October 26, 1844 – June 6, 1911) and Tony Hart (July 25, 1855 – November 4, 1891). [331][341]
Marion Harris April 4, 1896 April 23, 1944 American Singer. [342]
Mildred Harris November 29, 1901 July 20, 1944 American Harris began as a juvenile actress in vaudeville, burlesque, on the legit stage and on film where she appeared at the age of 9. Later Charlie Chaplin's first wife, she appeared in a playlet, Getting the Money at the Royal Theatre in New York in February 1922. [286][343]
Joseph Hart June 8, 1861 October 3, 1921 American
Hartman and Hartman American Comedy dance team with Paul (March 1, 1904 – October 2, 1973) and his wife, Grace Hartman (January 7, 1907 – August 8, 1955) [344]
Morton Harvey 1886 1961 American Singer.
Loney Haskell 1870 October 20, 1933 American Monologist. [345]
June Havoc November 8, 1916 March 28, 2010 American Actress and dancer (as "Baby June"). Sister of Gypsy Rose Lee. [346]
Mary Hay August 22, 1901 June 4, 1957 American Ziegfeld girl and musical comedy actress [347]
George 'Gabby' Hayes May 7, 1885 February 9, 1969 American Actor who appeared in vaudeville before entering films in the 1920s where he was seen mostly in Westerns. [348]
Grace Hayes August 23, 1895 February 1, 1989 American Singer, mother of Peter Lind Hayes. [349]
Helen Hayes October 10, 1900 March 17, 1993 American Actress, known as the "First Lady of the Stage". Started appearing in vaudeville while still a child in "tab" versions of popular plays.
Peter Lind Hayes June 25, 1915 April 21, 1998 American Actor, singer, minstrel, and son of vaudevillian Grace Hayes. [350]
Rita Hayworth October 17, 1918 May 14, 1987 American Dancer in her family's Spanish dancing act, The Dancing Cansinos led by her father, Eduardo Cansino, Sr.. [169]
Ted Healy October 1, 1896 December 21, 1937 American Comedian, minstrel, dancer and singer. [351]
Lew Hearn February 15, 1882 February 1965 Polish Comedian. [352]
Hy Heath 1890 1965 American Comedian and songwriter.
Millicent Hearst July 16, 1882 December 5, 1974 American Performer until she became the wife of William Randolph Hearst.
Horace Heidt May 21, 1901 December 1, 1986 American Pianist and bandleader of the band, "Horace Heidt and His Musical Knights". [353]
Anna Held March 8, 1872 August 12, 1918 Polish Actress and singer. First wife of Florenz Ziegfeld, who produced most of her sketches and plays. [354]
Percy Helton January 31, 1894 September 11, 1971 American Appeared in his father's vaudeville act at the age of 2.
Fletcher Henderson December 18, 1897 December 28, 1952 American Pianist, bandleader and composer at one time teamed with Eubie Blake. Henderson later toured with Ethel Waters from 1921 to 1922. [264][355]
Ray Henderson December 1, 1896 December 31, 1970 American Singer, dancer, songwriter [260]
Herschel Henlere or Hendler December 14, 1890 January 13, 1968 Canadian Pianist and comedian. [356]
Beatrice Herford 1868 1952 British-American Monologist. [357]
Al Herman 1886 July 2, 1967 American Blackface comedian. [358]
Woody Herman May 16, 1913 October 29, 1987 American Clarinetist, saxophonist, singer and bandleader. [359]
Juano Hernández July 19, 1901 July 17, 1970 Puerto Rican Originally a boxer, Hernández quit the sport in the early 1920s and worked in traveling and minstrel shows, circuses and in vaudeville before entering film. [360]
Alexander Herrmann billed as "The Great Herrmann" February 11, 1844 December 11, 1896 German Magician. Upon his death, Herrmann's wife, Adelaide (1854–1932) took over his act. [358]
Art Hickman June 13, 1886 1930 American Bandleader. [361]
Hildegarde February 1, 1906 July 29, 2005 American Singer. [362]
Bertha "Chippie" Hill March 15, 1905 May 7, 1950 American Blues singer. Initially Hill appeared on the TOBA circuit as a singer and dancer with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels. [363]
Daisy and Violet Hilton February 5, 1908 January 6, 1969 British Conjoined twins. [364]
Raymond Hitchcock October 22, 1865 November 24, 1929 American Monologist. [365]
Mabel Hite May 30, 1883 October 22, 1912 American Comedian and musical comedy actress [366]
Gertrude H. Hoffman 1885 1966 American Interpretive dancer. [367]
Ernest Hogan 1859 May 20, 1909 American Blackface comedian billed as "the Unbleached American." Credited with the creation of the "coon" song and as one of the creators of ragtime music. [368]
Fay Holderness April 16, 1881 May 13, 1963 American Actress.
Taylor Holmes May 16, 1878 September 30, 1959 American Light actor. [369]
Lou Holtz April 11, 1893 September 22, 1980 American Comedian, minstrel, and dialectical singer. [370]
Bob Hope May 29, 1903 July 27, 2003 British-American Actor and comedian. [371]
DeWolf Hopper March 30, 1858 September 23, 1935 American Actor and comedian, known for his recitations of the poem, Casey at the Bat. [372]
Edna Wallace Hopper January 17, 1874 December 14, 1959 American Actress. [373]
Edward Everett Horton March 18, 1886 September 29, 1970 American Comedian, Singer and dancer.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins August 9, 1920 July 26, 1980 American Child actor who appeared in the Our Gang series of short films. He and his sister, Janie, had an act together.
Harry Houdini March 24, 1874 October 31, 1926 Hungarian Magician and escape artist. [374]
Willie and Eugene Howard American Comic duo made up of Willie Howard (1886–1949) and Eugene Howard (1880–1965). [375]
Joseph Howard February 12, 1867 May 19, 1961 American Singer and songwriter. [376]
Buddy Howe c. 1910 March 4, 1981 American Acrobatic dancer. [377]
Alice Howell May 5, 1888 April 12, 1961 American Comedian in an act with her husband, Dick Smith. [378]
Waite Hoyt September 9, 1899 August 25, 1984 American Singer and dancer.
Doris Humphrey October 17, 1895 December 29, 1958 American Dancer.
Walter Huston April 6, 1884 April 7, 1950 Canadian Actor and singer. [341]
Hyams and McIntyre American Husband-wife comedic duo with John Hyams (June 6, 1869 – December 9, 1940) and Leila McIntyre (December 20, 1882 – January 9, 1953). Their daughter, Leila (May 1, 1905 – December 4, 1977), appeared with them as a child. [350][379]

I-J[edit]

Name Birth Death Nationality Performance notes Reference
Imhof, Conn and Corinne American Comic trio. Roger Imhof (January or August 15, 1875 – April 15, 1958), his wife, Marcel Corinne or Coreene (d. 1977), and an associate, Conn (about whom, little is known), toured in two comic sketches, "The Pest House" and "Surgeon Louder." Imhof began his career as a circus clown and Irish comic and following vaudeville, appeared as a character actor in a number of Hollywood films. [380][381]
May Irwin June 27, 1862 October 22, 1938 Canadian Comedian and actress. [382]
Eddie Jackson 1896 1980 American Singer and actor
Joe Jackson Sr. January 1, 1881 May 14, 1942 Austrian Bicyclist and comic. Born as Josef Francis Jiranek in Vienna, Austria, where he began competing in cycling races and later appeared in circuses, clowning with his bicycle. Appearing on the American stage for the first time in 1911, Jackson's act involved him entering the stage dressed as a clownish tramp and attempting to ride a bicycle that was slowly falling apart. He would often end his act with a series of athletic riding tricks. He appeared in a number of Broadway shows and Hollywood films including some directed by Mack Sennett. Jackson died on his way to his dressing room following a performance at the Roxy Theatre in 1942. [383][384]
Tony Jackson June 5, 1876 April 20, 1921 American Pianist, singer and composer. Best known for his song, Pretty Baby, Jackson appeared in vaudeville as a singer and pianist in the Whitman Sisters' New Orleans Troubadours during their tour in 1904. He later appeared with them in 1910. New Orleans born, Jackson began his career playing in the brothels of that city's red-light district, Storyville and following his work in vaudeville, he continued his performing in Chicago. [385][386]
Lou Jacobs January 1, 1903 September 13, 1992 German Clown.
Elsie Janis March 16, 1889 February 26, 1956 American Singer and actress. [69][387]
Marie Jansen c. 1857 March 20, 1914 American Singer and actress. [388]
Frank Jenks November 4, 1902 May 13, 1962 American Singer and dancer. [389]
George Jessel April 3, 1898 May 23, 1981 American Actor, monologist, minstrel, and singer. [390]
Jack Johnson March 31, 1878 June 10, 1946 American First African-American Heavyweight Champion of the World. He first appeared on the vaudeville stage in 1909 at Hammerstein's Victoria in New York City, appearing in the ring with white boxer, Kid Cutler. He went on a thirty-week vaudeville tour the following year. [391][392]
George W. Johnson c. 1855 January 23, 1914 American Singer.
Ralph Johnstone 1886 November 17, 1910 American Bicyclist. Originated the trick of jumping a bicycle up and down stairs on one wheel. [393]
Al Jolson May 26, 1886 October 23, 1950 Lithuanian-American Actor, singer, and minstrel. [69][394]
Sissieretta Jones January 5, 1869 June 24, 1933 American African-American Soprano, often billed as "The Black Patti." Jones was one of the first African-American singers to perform classical and operatic repertoire. Starting in 1896, Jones was the centerpiece of a travelling vaudeville show called the Black Patti Troubadours which included African-American singers, dancers and comedians. [395][396]

K[edit]

Name Birth Death Nationality Performance notes Reference
Armand Kaliz October 23, 1887 February 1, 1941 French Actor.
Bert Kalmar February 10, 1884 September 18, 1947 American Magician and songwriter teamed with Harry Ruby. [397]
Harry Kandel 1885 1943 Russian Clarinetist and bandleader.
Helen Kane August 4, 1904 September 26, 1966 American Singer and comedian, known as the "boop-oop-a-doop girl". [398]
Kara October 17, 1883 April 9, 1939 German Juggler credited as performing the first "Gentleman juggling" act. Dressed in a top hat and tails, Kara would then juggle the numerous props onstage. [399][400]
Beatrice Kay April 21, 1907 November 8, 1986 American Singer and actress.
Birdie Reeve Kay January 16, 1907 May 31, 1996 American Speed typist. [401]
Stubby Kaye November 11, 1918 December 14, 1997 American Actor and comedian [402]
Buster Keaton October 4, 1895 February 1, 1966 American Actor, acrobat and comedian. Member of his family's act, The Three Keatons, with his parents, Joe (1867–1946) and Myra (1877–1955). [403]
Frank Keenan April 8, 1858 February 24, 1929 American Actor. [404]
Harry Kellar 1849 1922 American Magician. [405]
Helen Keller June 27, 1880 June 1, 1968 American Deafblind lecturer. Appeared with her teacher, Anne Sullivan. [317]
Keller Sisters and Lynch American Singing trio of siblings consisting of Annie Catherine "Nan" Keller (1900–1975), Kathryne Ann "Taddy" Keller (1909–1962) and Frank Lynch (1902–1992).
Annette Kellerman July 6, 1887 November 5, 1975 Australian Olympic swimmer. [406]
Gene Kelly August 23, 1912 February 2, 1996 American Dancer, singer and actor. Appeared in vaudeville with his brother Fred. [407]
George Kelly January 16, 1887 June 18, 1974 American Actor.
King Kelly December 31, 1857 November 8, 1894 American Former baseball player and comedian.
Walter Kelly October 29, 1873 January 6, 1939 American Monologist and dialectician. [408]
Pert Kelton August 23, 1912 February 2, 1996 American Actress and comedian. [409]
Ezra Kendall February 15, 1861 January 23, 1910 American Monologist. [410]
Freddie Keppard February 27, 1890 July 15, 1933 American Jazz cornetist. [411]
Jerome Kern January 27, 1885 November 11, 1945 American Pianist and accompanist for Edna Wallace Hopper. Kern later became one of the best known musical theatre composers of the early 20th century. [412]
J. Warren Kerrigan 1916 August 4, 2004 American Singer. Later he became a noted disc jockey.
Joseph Kesselring July 25, 1879 June 9, 1947 American Actor.
Victor Kilian March 6, 1891 March 11, 1979 American Actor. [413]
Charles King 1889 1941 American Song and dance man later on Broadway and in the Ziegfeld Follies. [414]
Hetty King 1883 September 28, 1972 British Male impersonator and singer. [415]
Johnny Kling February 25, 1875 January 31, 1947 American Baseball player who appeared in vaudeville with a monologue and a champ billiards exhibition act. [123]
Fred Kohler April 20, 1888 October 28, 1938 American Character actor. [416]
Kolb and Dill American Dutch dialect knockabout comic duo with Clarence Kolb (July 31, 1874 – November 25, 1964) and Max Dill (September 15, 1876 – November 21, 1949). [417]
Isa Kremer October 21, 1887 July 7, 1956 Russian-American Soprano [418]

Notes[edit]

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