1-50 of 788 names.

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1. Mickey Rooney Mickey Rooney Actor, The Fox and the Hound 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. 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...
3. 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...
4. 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"...
5. Irene Ryan Irene Ryan Actress, My Dear Secretary 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...
6. 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...
7. 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...
8. Walter Brennan Walter Brennan Actor, Rio Bravo 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...
9. 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...
10. Mae West Mae West Soundtrack, 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...
11. Buddy Ebsen Buddy Ebsen Actor, Breakfast at Tiffany's 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...
12. Fred Astaire Fred Astaire Soundtrack, 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...
13. Ed Wynn Ed Wynn Actor, Alice in Wonderland An old-fashioned comedian, who, by recommendation by his son Keenan Wynn, became one of the world's most beloved clowns, and one of the best actors of his time. He was born on November 9, 1886. He performed in the Ziegfeld Follies, and later had a son Keenan in 1916. He later wrote his own shows...
14. 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...
15. Buster Keaton Buster Keaton Actor, The General When, at six months, 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...
16. 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)...
17. 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...
18. Jack Benny Jack Benny Actor, To Be or Not to Be The son of a saloonkeeper, Jack Benny (born Benny Kubelsky) began to study the violin at the age six, and his "ineptness" at it later become his trademark (in reality, he was a very accomplished player). When given the opportunity to play in live theatre professionally, Benny quit school and joined vaudeville...
19. Sammy Davis Jr. Sammy Davis Jr. Actor, Ocean's Eleven 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 had African-American and Cuban/Afro-Cuban ancestry...
20. Elinor Donahue Elinor Donahue Actress, Pretty Woman 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...
21. Charmian Carr Charmian Carr Soundtrack, 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...
22. Elsa Lanchester Elsa Lanchester Actress, Mary Poppins 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...
23. Fred MacMurray Fred MacMurray Actor, Double Indemnity Born in Kankakee, Illinois, MacMurray was raised in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin from the age of 5, eventually graduating from Beaver Dam High School (currently the site of Beaver Dam Middle School), where he was a 3-sport star in football, baseball, and basketball. Fred retained a special place in his heart for his small-town Wisconsin upbringing...
24. Imogene Coca Imogene Coca Actress, National Lampoon's Vacation Imogene Coca is best remembered for playing opposite Sid Caesar in the live 90-minute Your Show of Shows, which ran every Saturday night in regular season on NBC from February 1950 to June 1954. Their repertoire of comedy acts included the very memorable, hilarious, timeless and irreconcilable married couple Charlie and Doris Hickenlooper...
25. Al Lewis Al Lewis Actor, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? 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...
26. 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...
27. Larry Storch Larry Storch Actor, The Great Race 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...
28. 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.
29. 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...
30. Ray Bolger Ray Bolger Actor, The Wizard of Oz Ray Bolger began his career in vaudeville. He was half of a team called "Sanford and Bolger" and also did numerous Broadway shows on his own. He, like Gene Kelly, was a song-and-dance man as well as an actor. He was signed to a contract with MGM in 1936 and his first role was as himself in The Great Ziegfeld...
31. 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.
32. Mae Clarke Mae Clarke Actress, Frankenstein Vivacious, blonde Mae Clarke was exposed to cinema from an early age, her father being an organist in a motion picture theatre. Growing up in Atlantic City, New Jersey, she learned how to dance and, at the tender age of 13, was already performing in nightclubs and amateur theatricals. In 1924 she was one of "May Dawson's Dancing Girls"...
33. William Frawley William Frawley Actor, Miracle on 34th Street 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...
34. Broderick Crawford Broderick Crawford Actor, All the King's Men Broderick Crawford is best remembered for two roles: his Oscar-winning turn as Willie Stark in All the King's Men, and as Chief Dan Matthews on the syndicated TV series Highway Patrol. He was also memorable as Judy Holliday's boisterous boyfriend in Born Yesterday. He was born William Broderick Crawford on December 9...
35. Red Skelton Red Skelton Self, Red Skelton: A Royal Command Performance 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...
36. 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...
37. Harry Houdini Harry Houdini Actor, Haldane of the Secret Service The great American escape artist and magician Houdini (immortalized by a memorable performance by Tony Curtis in the eponymous 1953 film) was born Erich Weiss on March 24, 1874 in Budapest, Hungary, though he often gave his birthplace as Appleton, Wisconsin, where he was raised. One of five brothers and one daughter born to rabbi Samuel Weiss and his wife Cecilia...
38. 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...
39. Ben Vereen Ben Vereen Actor, All That Jazz 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...
40. June Havoc June Havoc Actress, General Hospital Musical theater devotees will undoubtedly know that the song "Let Me Entertain You" was from the classic musical "Gypsy", the born-in-a-trunk story of resilient kid troopers Gypsy Rose Lee and June Havoc who were mercilessly pushed into vaudeville careers by an unbearably headstrong mother. While the lesser-talented Gypsy...
41. 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...
42. 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...
43. Eddie Bracken Eddie Bracken Actor, National Lampoon's Vacation 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"...
44. Rose Marie Rose Marie Self, The Young and the Restless 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...
45. Gene Barry Gene Barry Actor, War of the Worlds 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)...
46. Mark Hadlow Mark Hadlow Actor, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Actor, comedian, singer, writer, producer, director - Mark Hadlow is one of New Zealand's most prominent actors and entertainers. He is driven by a passion for performance: 130 plays, musical theatre, dozens of film appearances, television series, commercials and radio voice-overs in the thousands. Playing the dwarf Dori in The Hobbit will be Mark's third Peter Jackson movie...
47. Warner Baxter Warner Baxter Actor, 42nd Street Warner Baxter claimed to have an early pre-disposition toward show business: "I discovered a boy a block away who would eat worms and swallow flies for a penny. For one-third of the profits, I exhibited him in a tent." When he was age 9, his widowed mother moved to San Francisco where, following the earthquake of 1906...
48. 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...
49. Phyllis Coates Phyllis Coates Actress, Superman and the Mole-Men 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...
50. 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...
1-50 of 788 names.