1-50 of 864 names.

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1. 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...
2. Joe Pesci Joe Pesci Actor, Goodfellas Compact Italian-American actor Joe Pesci was born February 9, 1943, in Newark, NJ, 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-50s was starring on the series "Star Time Kids". In the mid-'60s he released a record under the stage name of "Joe Ritchie" titled "Little Joe Sure Can Sing"...
3. 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...
4. 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...
5. Charles Chaplin Charles Chaplin Writer, Modern Times Charlie Chaplin, considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, 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 "Little Tramp" character; the man with the toothbrush mustache, bowler hat, bamboo cane, and a funny walk...
6. 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...
7. 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...
8. 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...
9. 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...
10. Harpo Marx Harpo Marx Actor, Duck Soup With the big, poofy, curly red hair, a top hat, and a horn, the lovable mute was the favorite of the Marx Brothers. Though chasing woman was a favorite routine of his in the movies, Harpo was a devoted father and husband. He adopted the mute routine in vaudeville and carried it over to the films. Harpo...
11. 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...
12. 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...
13. 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...
14. 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...
15. 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...
16. 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...
17. 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...
18. 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...
19. Grant Lee Phillips Grant Lee Phillips Soundtrack, Friends with Benefits Singer/songwriter/actor Grant-Lee Phillips, formerly of the band Grant Lee Buffalo, He was voted "Best Male Vocalist" of 1994 by Rolling Stone. The band's most popular songs include "Fuzzy", "Mockingbirds" and "Truly, Truly." Phillips stars in the recurring role of The Town Troubadour on the popular series Gilmore Girls...
20. Buster Keaton Buster Keaton Actor, The General When at six months of age he tumbled down a flight of stairs unharmed, he was given the name "Buster" by Harry Houdini who, along with W.C. Fields, Bill Robinson ("Bojangles"), Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson shared headlines with "The Three Keatons": Buster, his father Joe Keaton and mother Myra Keaton...
21. 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...
22. 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...
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. Red Skelton Red Skelton Writer, The Red Skelton Hour The son of a former circus clown turned grocer and a cleaning woman, Red Skelton was introduced to show business at the age of seven by Ed Wynn, at a vaudeville show in Vincennes. At age 10, he left home to travel with a medicine show through the Midwest, and joined the vaudeville circuit at age 15...
25. 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...
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. 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...
28. 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...
29. 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.
30. Billy De Wolfe Billy De Wolfe Actor, Frosty the Snowman Most certainly egged on by the dandified antics of an Edward Everett Horton, Eric Blore and/or Franklin Pangborn, burlesque clown Billy DeWolfe in turn gave obvious inspiration to such effete cutups as Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly. Billy's life was one hundred percent show business from start to finish in a career that lasted five decades...
31. 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...
32. 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...
33. Gloria DeHaven Gloria DeHaven Actress, Out to Sea Vaudeville headliners Carter and Flora DeHaven 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). Diminutive of stature and dark-haired, budding musical star Gloria (her nickname then was "Glo") enjoyed collecting perfume...
34. Al Lewis Al Lewis Actor, The Munsters In the late 1920s, Lewis worked as a circus performer, but ultimately decided on college, earning a Ph.D. in child psychology from Columbia University. He taught school and wrote two children's books. In 1949, at the suggestion of a friend, Lewis turned to acting and joined the Paul Mann Actor's Workshop in New York...
35. 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"...
36. Judy Canova Judy Canova Actress, Sis Hopkins Raucous singing and yodeling and loads of cornpone humor was pretty much the whole shebang when it came to singer/comedienne Judy Canova. Her outlandish image may be considered tacky and/or offensive by today's measure, but back in the 1930s and 1940s it really worked! By the time she left the limelight after five decades...
37. Mae Questel Mae Questel Actress, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Her Orthodox Jewish family were totally adverse to her having an entertainment career. Her parents and grandparents forced her to leave the Theatre Guild school (New York) while still a teenager and had their wills drawn up accordingly so as to discourage this career choice. Studied drama at Columbia University, and belonged to the American Theatre Wing...
38. Gypsy Rose Lee Gypsy Rose Lee Self, The Hollywood Squares Born Rose Louise Hovick in Seattle, Washington, in 1911, but called Louise from early childhood, Gypsy Rose Lee was the daughter of a mild-mannered businessman and a restless, fiery young woman named Rose, who was determined to get out of Seattle and make a life for herself and her daughter in show business...
39. Mae West Mae West Actress, I'm No Angel Mae West was born in Queens, New York, to "Battling Jack" West and Matilda Doelger. She began her career as a child star in vaudeville, and later went on to write her own plays, including "SEX", for which she was arrested. Though her first movie role was a small part in Night After Night, her scene has become famous...
40. 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.
41. 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...
42. 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...
43. Bill Williams Bill Williams Actor, The Adventures of Kit Carson A solid film and TV player bearing a strong, honest persona for most his career, this innocent-eyed, boyishly handsome blond "B" actor of the 40s and 50s was born in Brooklyn on May 21, 1915, and educated there at the Pratt Institute. A natural athlete, Bill Williams was a professional swimmer who broke...
44. Billie Bird Billie Bird Actress, Home Alone Vaudeville comedienne Billie Bird Sellen was discovered at an orphanage at the age of eight years and hired to tour theater circuits with a vaudeville troupe. During the Vietnam War she accompanied 12 USO tours entertaining the troops in the war zone in the 1960s and 1970s. She had worked as recently as 1995 when she appeared in Jury Duty...
45. 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...
46. Percy Helton Percy Helton Actor, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea One of the most familiar faces and voices in Hollywood films of the 1950s. Percy Helton acted almost from infancy, appearing in his father's vaudeville act. The famed Broadway producer David Belasco cast Helton in a succession of child roles over several years, giving the boy an invaluable grounding in the technique and spirit of the theatre...
47. 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...
48. Forrest Tucker Forrest Tucker Actor, F Troop Forrest Tucker, best known to the Baby Boom generation as Sergeant O'Rourke on the classic TV sitcom F Troop, was born on February 12, 1919, in Plainfield, Indiana. He began his performing career at age 14 at the 1933 Chicago "Century of Progress" World's Fair, pushing big wicker tourists' chairs by day and singing at night...
49. Helen Broderick Helen Broderick Actress, Top Hat Helen Broderick was a deliciously funny character comedienne with vaudeville and stage experience, a close friend of Jeanne Eagels. The story goes that, at the age of 14, she ran away from home because her mother (who featured in operatic comedy) was totally obsessed by the theatre. Ironically, all the people she met turned out to be performers...
50. Marjorie Main Marjorie Main Actress, Meet Me in St. Louis Her father was a minister, and when she joined a local stock company as a youngster she changed her name to avoid embarrassing her family. She worked in vaudeville and debuted on Broadway in 1916. Her film debut was in A House Divided. She repeated her stage role in Dead End as Baby Face Martin (Humphrey Bogart)'s mother...
1-50 of 864 names.