1-50 of 881 names.

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1. Julie Andrews Julie Andrews Actress, The Sound of Music Julia Elizabeth Wells was born on October 1, 1935, in England. Her mother, Barbara Ward (Morris), and stepfather, both vaudeville performers, discovered her freakish but undeniably lovely four-octave singing voice and immediately got her a singing career. She performed in music halls throughout her childhood and teens...
2. Joe Pesci Joe Pesci Actor, Goodfellas Compact Italian-American actor Joe Pesci was born February 9, 1943 in Newark, New Jersey, to Mary (Mesce), a part-time barber, and Angelo Pesci, a bartender and forklift driver. Pesci first broke into entertainment as a child actor, and by the mid-1950s, was starring on the series "Star Time Kids". In the mid-1960s...
3. Johnny Mathis Johnny Mathis Music Department, Goodfellas He was the fourth of seven children born to Clement and Mildred Mathis. His father performed briefly in vaudeville and exposed all of the Mathis siblings to music. Before he entered his teens, young John received vocal lessons from Connie Cox in exchange for performing chores around her home. When he...
4. Charles Chaplin Charles Chaplin Writer, Modern Times Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the toothbrush mustache, bowler hat, bamboo cane, and a funny walk...
5. Fred MacMurray Fred MacMurray Actor, My Three Sons Fred MacMurray was likely the most underrated actor of his generation. True, his earliest work is mostly dismissed as pedestrian, but no other actor working in the 1940s and 50s was able to score so supremely whenever cast against type. Frederick Martin MacMurray was born in Kankakee, Illinois, to Maleta Martin and Frederick MacMurray...
6. Mickey Rooney Mickey Rooney Actor, Night at the Museum Mickey Rooney was born Joe Yule Jr. on September 23, 1920 in Brooklyn, New York. He first took the stage as a toddler in his parents vaudeville act at 17 months old. He made his first film appearance in 1926. The following year, he played the lead character in the first Mickey McGuire short film. It was in this popular film series that he took the stage name Mickey Rooney...
7. Stan Laurel Stan Laurel Actor, The Flying Deuces Stan Laurel came from a theatrical family, his father was an actor and theatre manager, and he made his stage debut at the age of 16 at Pickard's Museum, Glasgow. He traveled with Fred Karno's vaudeville company to the United States in 1910 and again in 1913. While with that company he was Charles Chaplin's understudy...
8. Jack Albertson Jack Albertson Actor, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory A former song-and-dance man and veteran of vaudeville, burlesque and Broadway, Jack Albertson is best known to audiences as "The Man" in the TV series Chico and the Man, for which he won an Emmy. In 1968 Albertson, the brother of actress Mabel Albertson, won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in The Subject Was Roses, a part which also won him the Tony award during its Broadway run.
9. Estelle Getty Estelle Getty Actress, The Golden Girls She was truly one mother of a mom...on stage, on film and on TV. A favorite firecracker on 80s and 90s television, tiny character player Estelle Getty became best known for her carping, meddlesome moms -- complete with bemused, cynical looks, irreverent digs and dead-pan Henny Youngman-like one-liners...
10. Sid Haig Sid Haig Actor, The Devil's Rejects Tall, bald and nearly always bearded, Sid Haig has provided hulking menace to many a low-budget exploitation film and high-priced action film. Sid Haig was born Sidney Eddie Mosesian on July 14, 1939 in Fresno, California, a screaming ball of hair. His parents, Roxy (Mooradian) and Haig Mosesian, an electrician...
11. Hal Holbrook Hal Holbrook Actor, Into the Wild Hal Holbrook is an Emmy- and Tony-Award winning actor who is one of the great craftsman of stage and screen. He is best known for his performance as Mark Twain, for which he won a Tony and the first of his ten Emmy Award nominations. Aside from the stage, Holbrook made his reputation primarily on television...
12. Elinor Donahue Elinor Donahue Actress, Father Knows Best Tap dancing at the age of 16 months, pert and pretty Elinor Donahue has been entertaining audiences for six decades. Born Mary Eleanor Donahue in Tacoma, Washington in 1937, she appeared as a radio singer and vaudeville dancer while still a mere toddler, then was picked up by Universal Studios at the age of 5...
13. William Frawley William Frawley Actor, My Three Sons William Frawley was born in Burlington, Iowa. As a boy he sang at St. Paul's Catholic Church and played at the Burlington Opera House. His first job was as a stenographer for the Union Pacific Railroad. He did vaudeville with his brother Paul, then joined pianist Franz Rath in an act they took to San Francisco in 1910...
14. Irene Ryan Irene Ryan Actress, The Beverly Hillbillies Before becoming known to millions as Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies, Irene Ryan was already an established vaudeville, radio and movie actress, though not as famous prior to her television stint. She accompanied Bob Hope on his famous military tours and she was known as "the gal who makes Bob Hope laugh." After being cast as Granny...
15. William Demarest William Demarest Actor, My Three Sons Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, William Demarest was a prolific actor in movies and TV, making more than 140 films. Demarest started his acting career in vaudeville and made his way to Broadway. His most famous role was in My Three Sons, replacing a very sick William Frawley. Demarest was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting role in the real-life biography...
16. Gene Barry Gene Barry Actor, Bat Masterson With effortless class and elegant charm, Gene Barry took 50s and 60s TV by storm after a rather lackluster start on the musical stage and in films. Born Eugene Klass in New York City on June 14, 1919, the son of Martin, an amateur violinist, and Eva Klass, an amateur singer, he showed a gift at an early age as a violin virtuoso during adolescence (obviously inherited from his father)...
17. Rodney Dangerfield Rodney Dangerfield Actor, Back to School Rodney Dangerfield was born Jacob Cohen on November 22, 1921 in Deer Park, Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. He was the son of Dorothy "Dotty" (Teitelbaum) and Phillip Cohen, who performed in vaudeville under the name Phil Roy. His father was born in New York, to Russian Jewish parents, and his mother was a Hungarian Jewish immigrant...
18. Elsa Lanchester Elsa Lanchester Actress, Witness for the Prosecution Elsa Sullivan Lanchester was born into an unconventional a family at the turn of the 20th century. Her parents, James "Shamus" Sullivan and Edith "Biddy" Lanchester, were socialists - very active members of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) in a rather broad sense and did not believe in the institution of marriage and being tied to any conventions of legality for that matter...
19. Fred Astaire Fred Astaire Actor, Top Hat Fred Astaire was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to Johanna (Geilus) and Fritz Austerlitz, a brewer. Fred entered show business at age 5. He was successful both in vaudeville and on Broadway in partnership with his sister, Adele Astaire. After Adele retired to marry in 1932, Astaire headed to Hollywood. Signed to RKO...
20. Buddy Ebsen Buddy Ebsen Actor, The Beverly Hillbillies Buddy Ebsen began his career as a dancer in the late 1920s in a Broadway chorus. He later formed a vaudeville act with his sister Vilma Ebsen, which also appeared on Broadway. In 1935 he and his sister went to Hollywood, where they were signed for the first of MGM's Eleanor Powell movies, Broadway Melody of 1936...
21. John Huston John Huston Director, The Maltese Falcon An eccentric rebel of epic proportions, this Hollywood titan reigned supreme as director, screenwriter and character actor in a career that endured over five decades. The ten-time Oscar-nominated legend was born John Marcellus Huston in Nevada, Missouri, on August 5, 1906. His ancestry included English...
22. Ginger Rogers Ginger Rogers Actress, Top Hat Ginger Rogers was born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri on July 16, 1911. Her mother, known as Lelee, went to Independence to have Ginger away from her husband. She had a baby earlier in their marriage and he allowed the doctor to use forceps and the baby died. She was kidnapped by her father several times until her mother took him to court...
23. Walter Brennan Walter Brennan Actor, The Real McCoys In many ways the most successful and familiar character actor of American sound films and the only actor to date to win three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Walter Brennan attended college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studying engineering. While in school he became interested in acting and performed in school plays...
24. Joan Blondell Joan Blondell Actress, Grease With blonde hair, big blue eyes and a big smile, Joan was usually cast as the wisecracking working girl who was the lead's best friend. Born into vaudeville to a comic named Eddie, Joan was on the stage when she was three years old. For years, she toured the circuit with her parents and joined a stock company when she was 17...
25. Buster Keaton Buster Keaton Actor, The General Joseph Frank Keaton was born on October 4, 1895 in Piqua, Kansas, to Joe Keaton and Myra Keaton. Joe and Myra were Vaudevillian comedians with a popular, ever-changing variety act, giving Keaton an eclectic and interesting upbringing. In the earliest days on stage, they traveled with a medicine show that included family friend...
26. Federico Fellini Federico Fellini Writer, The women who both attracted and frightened him and an Italy dominated in his youth by Mussolini and Pope Pius XII - inspired the dreams that Fellini started recording in notebooks in the 1960s. Life and dreams were raw material for his films. His native Rimini and characters like Saraghina (the devil herself said the priests who ran his school)...
27. Charmian Carr Charmian Carr Actress, The Sound of Music Charmian Carr was born Charmian Farnon on December 27, 1942. She got her name because, supposedly, her father liked the name after reading William Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra". Charmian was the name of one of Cleopatra's maids. She was the second of three daughters. Her mother, Rita Oehmen, had been a vaudeville actress with her brother Eddy...
28. Sammy Davis Jr. Sammy Davis Jr. Self, That's Dancing! Sammy Davis Jr. was often billed as the "greatest living entertainer in the world". He was born in Harlem, Manhattan, the son of dancer Elvera Davis (née Sanchez) and vaudeville star Sammy Davis Sr.. His father was African-American and his mother was of Puerto Rican ancestry. Davis Jr. was known as someone who could do it all--sing...
29. Gloria DeHaven Gloria DeHaven Actress, Out to Sea Gloria Mildred DeHaven was born on July 23, 1925 in Los Angeles, California, to vaudeville headliners Carter and Flora DeHaven. Her parents made sure their daughter would be educated at the very best private schools. They also indulged her ambition to be in show business by packing her off to the Mar-Ken Professional School in Hollywood (1940-42)...
30. Donald O'Connor Donald O'Connor Actor, Singin' in the Rain Born into a vaudeville family, O'Connor was the youthful figure cutting a rug in several Universal musicals of the 1940s. His best-known musical work is probably Singin' in the Rain, in which he did an impressive dance that culminated in a series of backflips off the wall. O'Connor was also effective in comedic lead roles, particularly as the companion to Francis the Talking Mule in that film series.
31. Mae West Mae West Actress, I'm No Angel Mary Jane West was born in Brooklyn, New York, on August 17, 1893, to parents involved in prizefighting and vaudeville. Mae herself worked on the stage and in vaudeville from the time she was five years old. She never was academically inclined because she was too busy performing. She studied dance as a child...
32. Binnie Barnes Binnie Barnes Actress, The Trouble with Angels British-born actress who appeared in both British and American films, but who found her greatest success in Hollywood second leads. After a variety of jobs, including nurse, chorus girl and milkmaid, Barnes entered vaudeville. She appeared in more than a score of short comedies with comedian Stanley Lupino before making her feature bow in 1931...
33. Ray Bolger Ray Bolger Actor, The Wizard of Oz Ray Bolger was born Raymond Wallace Bolger on January 10, 1904 in Dorchester, Massachusetts, to Anne C. (Wallace) and James Edward Bolger, both Irish-Americans. Ray began his career in vaudeville. He was half of a team called "Sanford and Bolger" and also did numerous Broadway shows on his own. Like Gene Kelly...
34. Cliff Edwards Cliff Edwards Actor, His Girl Friday Becoming popular with playing the ukulele, his unique singing and supplying the voice of animated movies, Cliff Edwards was one of the most popular singers in America. Born in Hannibal, Missouri, Edwards left school at the age of 14, moved to St. Louis, and started to work as a singer in saloons. Edwards then taught himself to play the ukulele...
35. Phyllis Coates Phyllis Coates Actress, Adventures of Superman Born in Wichita Falls, Texas, Phyllis Coates moved to Hollywood as a teenager with intentions of enrolling at UCLA. A chance encounter with Ken Murray in a Hollywood & Vine restaurant landed her in the comedian's vaudeville show. She started out as a chorus girl and worked her way up to doing skits before moving on to work for veteran showman Earl Carroll and later touring with the USO...
36. John Mitchum John Mitchum Actor, Dirty Harry John Newman Mitchum was the September child of a Norwegian mother and an Irish/Blackfoot father whom he never knew, as he was killed in a tragic train yard accident in 1919. His two-years-older brother Robert filled the role as best as he could, while their older sister Annette studied the lively arts and eventually joined a traveling vaudeville team...
37. Van Johnson Van Johnson Actor, The Caine Mutiny Van Johnson was the well-mannered nice guy on screen you wanted your daughter to marry. This fair, freckled and invariably friendly-looking MGM song-and-dance star of the 40s emerged a box office favorite (1944-1946) and second only to heartthrob Frank Sinatra during what gossipmonger Hedda Hopper dubbed the "Bobby-Soxer Blitz" era...
38. Jennifer Lyons Jennifer Lyons Actress, The Amazing Spider-Man Jennifer Lyons is a face you may have seen over the last decade and a half. Whether it's TV, Film, or modeling for an L.A. based popular Lingerie company. She stays busy enjoying the roller coaster ride of the Entertainment business. She was born in Pasadena, California to a family of entertainers. Her Father is a Flamenco Guitarist...
39. Victor McLaglen Victor McLaglen Actor, The Quiet Man Rambunctious British leading man (contrary to popular belief, he was of Scottish ancestry, not Irish) and later character actor primarily in American films, Victor McLaglen was a vital presence in a number of great motion pictures, especially those of director John Ford. McLaglen (pronounced Muh-clog-len...
40. Don Stroud Don Stroud Actor, Django Unchained He's the son of Vaudeville great, Clarence Stroud, of the Stroud Twins and singer Ann McCormack, who toured the world with Frank Sinatra. Don grew up on the beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, where his stepfather, Paul Livermore, and his mother, Ann, owned and operated the popular "Embers Steak House" and nightclub where Ann performed nightly...
41. Joe E. Brown Joe E. Brown Actor, Some Like It Hot Joe E. Brown happily claimed that he was the only youngster in show business who ran way from home to join the circus with the blessings of his parents. In 1902, the ten-year-old Brown joined a circus tumbling act called the Five Marvellous Ashtons, which toured various circuses and vaudeville theaters...
42. Jack Haley Jack Haley Actor, The Wizard of Oz Jack Haley was a movie and vaudeville actor who is always remembered as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. The Tin Man role was originally was going to Buddy Ebsen, but due to allergic reaction from the aluminum powder makeup, Ebsen was taken out of the casting and Haley replaced him. To avoid the same problem arising...
43. June Preisser June Preisser Actress, Strike Up the Band Best known at MGM for giving young Judy Garland competition over the attentions of Mickey Rooney in a couple of their famous let's-put-on-a-show musical films, this dimpled blonde cream puff was first and foremost an acrobatic dancer and contortionist. June Preisser was born in New Orleans in 1920...
44. Eddie Bracken Eddie Bracken Actor, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York This owl-faced comic actor enjoyed his first featured film role in the RKO production Too Many Girls, in which he reprised the role of "JoJo Jordan" that he had played in the Broadway stage version of that musical. (Into the pantheon of pop-music standards came one that Bracken had introduced in "Too Many Girls"...
45. Larry Storch Larry Storch Actor, F Troop As a kid in the 1930s growing up in a tough New York neighborhood, kinetic wiseguy Larry Storch took in the multi-ethnic flavor of his surroundings and started blurting out various accents as a juvenile to provoke laughs and earn attention. Little did he know that this early talent would take him on a six-decade journey as a prime actor and comedian...
46. Moe Howard Moe Howard Actor, Punch Drunks Moe Howard, the "Boss Stooge" and brother of Stooges Curly Howard and Shemp Howard, began his acting career in 1909 by playing bit roles in silent Vitagraph films. At 17 he joined a troupe working on a showboat and also appeared in several two-reel comedy shorts. In 1922 he, brother Shemp and Larry Fine joined roughhouse vaudeville comic Ted Healy...
47. Rose Marie Rose Marie Self, The Hollywood Squares Rose Marie is a legend of show business with a career stretching over 80 years since her debut as her self in a Vitaphone musical short that appeared on the bill with The Jazz Singer at its premiere in 1927. According to Rose Marie, when she approached Al Jolson at The Wintergarden Theater in New York on the night of the premiere that made movie history and told him...
48. Ben Vereen Ben Vereen Actor, Zoobilee Zoo Few entertainers today are as accomplished or versatile as Ben Vereen. His legendary performances transcend time and have been woven into the fabric of this country's artistic legacy. His first love and passion is and always will be the stage. "The theater was my first training ground. It taught me discipline...
49. Bert Lahr Bert Lahr Actor, The Wizard of Oz Fittingly known to be a "Leo" for his horoscope, Bert Lahr is always remembered as the Cowardly Lion in (and the farmer "Zeke") The Wizard of Oz. But during his acting career, he has been known for being in burlesque, vaudeville, and Broadway. Dropped out of high school at the age of fifteen for a juvenile vaudeville act...
50. Robert Alda Robert Alda Actor, Imitation of Life Robert Alda's career began in vaudeville, as a singer-dancer. Graduating to performing on radio and in burlesque, he made a splashy film debut as George Gershwin in Rhapsody in Blue. His film career faltered somewhat after that, but he had much greater success on the Broadway stage in such productions as "Guys and Dolls" and "What Makes Sammy Run." Settling in Rome in the early 1960s...
1-50 of 881 names.