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Bryan Foy Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (7)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 8 December 1896Chicago, Illinois, USA
Date of Death 20 April 1977Los Angeles, California, USA  (after heart attack)
Nicknames The Keeper of the B's
Brynie
Brownie

Mini Bio (1)

Bryan Foy started in showbiz as a vaudevillian, touring nationally for ten years as one of the 'Seven Little Foys' (the oldest). He left the act in 1918 to embark on a solo career in Hollywood, at first devising gags for Buster Keaton then filming two-reelers at Fox. In 1927, he began his long association with Warner Brothers where he famously produced the first all-talking feature, Lights of New York (1928), at the cost of a mere $18,000. The film, shot in just eight days, grossed well over a million dollars for Warner Brothers and contributed to Foy being promoted head of the B-unit.

Under his sobriquet 'Keeper of the B's', Foy turned out as many as 26 pictures a year for the next two decades. Some were prison films, such as Crime School (1938) with Humphrey Bogart and the Dead End Kids (another winner: it cost $210,000 and returned a million, not to mention reissues). Much of Foy's other output consisted of thrillers like the 'Torchy Blane' series, or its juvenile counterpart, 'Nancy Drew'. By the mid-30's, Warners were also competing with RKO and Columbia in the B-western stakes, turning out a series of oaters starring Dick Foran.

After a spell at 20th Century Fox beginning in 1942 (which took in some of the last films made with Laurel & Hardy), Foy returned to Warner Brothers to produce the most popular film associated with his name, the gimmicky but hugely enjoyable House of Wax (1953), shot in 3-D and 'WarnerPhonic' sound. Curiously, the director André De Toth was blind in one eye and thus unable to fully appreciate the fruits of his labour. A year later, Foy produced another 3-D low budgeter which featured the same combination of Vincent Price (star), Bert Glennon (cinematographer), and Crane Wilbur (writer). The Mad Magician (1954) wasn't quite on par with 'House of Wax' but still provided some decent entertainment for fans of the genre. Foy's last film as producer was the much criticised JFK biopic PT 109 (1963), after which he decided to call it a day. Though he received little praise from the critics during the course of his career - a source of some bitterness on his part - he remained proud of his 'little' pictures and their proven record at the box office.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (1)

Vivian Edwards (1926 - 4 December 1949) (her death) (1 child)

Trivia (7)

Was one of the "Seven Little Foys" of vaudeville fame, which included Bryan's brothers Eddie Foy Jr., Charley Foy, Irving Foy, Richard Foy and sisters Madeline Foy and Mary Foy. All (except Bryan) can be seen in the Vitaphone short Chips of the Old Block (1928).
While a young man in Vaudeville, Foy wrote the theme song for the legendary comedy team of Shean & Gallagher, "OK Mr. Gallagher/OK Mr. Shean." (Mr. Shean was Al Shean).
Son of Eddie Foy.
Is portrayed by Billy Gray as a teen and by Jerry Mathers at age 5 in The Seven Little Foys (1955).
Directed the very first feature-length, full-dialogue movie, Lights of New York (1928).
As a young boy, he witnessed the horrific Iroquois Theatre Fire in Chicago on December 30, 1903. Foy, who was brought by his father Eddie Foy, were saved, but at least 602 people died in what would become the deadliest theater fire in American history. The film The Seven Little Foys (1955) portrays this event.
Survived by adopted daughter with Vivian Edwards: Mrs. Mary Jane Landstrom and three granddaughters; brothers Charley, Eddie Jr., and Irving; and sisters Mary Foy Latell, and Madeline Foy O'Donnell.

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