Old comedians

by quietgiant2 | created - 19 Jan 2011 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

Go<Larry W Mayes> When I had the idea for this list, I thought in honor only the silent film comedians, but their careers often continued in the years 30 and 40. So I decided to extend the list until 1945.

In fact, Jimmy Durante was already active in the 30s and deserves inclusion. As I opened an exception to just include the excellent Joe De Rita, I'll add another name that you remembered..

Go to the short movies! http://www.imdb.com/list/ls057689509/ Briefly and comic!

1. Mabel Normand

Actress | Mickey

Mabel Normand was one of the comedy greats of early film. In an era when women are deemed 'not funny enough' it seems film history has forgotten her contributions. Her films debuted the Keystone Cops, Charlie Chaplin's tramp and the pie in the face gag. She co-starred with both Chaplin and Roscoe "...

2. Pearl White

Actress | The Perils of Pauline

Born on her father's farm in Green Ridge, Missouri, the youngest of five children. Moved with her family to Springfield, Missouri, where she grew up. Joined the Diemer Theatre Company during her second year of high school, and went on the road with a touring stock company at age 18, in 1907. Signed...

3. Betty Compson

Actress | Mr. & Mrs. Smith

A mining engineer's daughter, blond, blue-eyed Betty Compson began in show business playing violin in a Salt Lake City vaudeville establishment for $15 a week. Following that, she went on tour, accompanied by her mother, with an act called 'the Vagabond Violinist'. Aged eighteen, she appeared on ...

4. Alice Lake

Actress | Come Through

Alice Lake was born on September 12, 1895 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. She was an actress, known for Come Through (1917), The Greater Claim (1921) and The Hole in the Wall (1921). She was married to Robert Williams. She died on November 15, 1967 in Hollywood, California, USA.

5. 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 ...

6. Charles Chaplin

Writer | The Great Dictator

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 ...

7. Max Linder

Actor | Seven Years Bad Luck

Although all too frequently neglected by fans of silent comedy, Max Linder is in many ways as important a figure as Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd, not least because he predated (and influenced) them all by several years and was largely responsible for the creation of the classic ...

8. André Deed

Actor | L'uomo meccanico

Starting his show-business career as a singer and acrobat in French music halls, Deed got in almost at the ground floor of the French film industry, making his debut in 1905. It didn't take him long to become one of France's first major comic film stars, and he soon became internationally famous. ...

Cretinetti and Boireau

9. Charles Prince

Actor | Les femmes collantes

Born in France in 1872, Charles Prince Seigneur had been a stage comedian for years when he made his first films at Charles Pathé's studio in 1909. He quickly became the one film comedian of the time who could compete with Max Linder in terms of popularity, known as Rigadin in France, Moritz in ...

Rigadin

10. John Bunny

Actor | Her Old Sweetheart

When John Bunny died the New York Times stated, "The name John Bunny will always be linked to the movies." Little did movie fans of 1915 realize that he would be completely forgotten the next year and completely omitted from many books on silent movies 70-80 years later.

Bunny was the ninth in a ...

11. Chester Conklin

Actor | Modern Times

Iowa-born Chester Conklin was raised in a coal-mining area by a devoutly religious father who hoped that his son would go into the ministry. However, Chester got the performing bug one day when he gave a recitation at a community singing festival and won first prize. Knowing his father would never ...

12. Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle

Actor | The Butcher Boy

Roscoe Arbuckle, one of nine children, was the baby of the family who weighed a reported 16 pounds at birth. Born in Smith Center, Kansas, on March 24, 1887, his family moved to California when he was a year old. At age eight he appeared on the stage. His first part was with the Webster-Brown Stock...

13. Charley Chase

Director | Violent Is the Word for Curly

While Charley Chase is far from being as famous as "The Big Three" (Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd) today, he's highly respected as one of the "greats" by fans of silent comedy.

Chase (real name Charles Parrott) was born in Maryland, USA, in 1893. After a brief career in vaudeville,...

14. Harold Lloyd

Actor | The Sin of Harold Diddlebock

Born in Buchard, Nebraska, USA to Elizabeth Fraser and 'J. Darcie 'Foxy' Lloyd' who fought constantly and soon divorced (at the time a rare event), Harold Clayton Lloyd was nominally educated in Denver and San Diego high schools and received his stage training at the School of Dramatic Art (San ...

15. Harry Langdon

Actor | Tramp, Tramp, Tramp

Langdon first performed when he ran away from home at the age of 12-13 to join a travelling medicine show. In 1903 he scored a lasting success in vaudeville with an act called "Johnny's New Car" which he performed for twenty years. In 1923, he signed with Principal Pictures as a series star, but ...

16. Stan Laurel

Actor | Saps at Sea

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 ...

17. Oliver Hardy

Actor | Babes in Toyland

Although his parents were never in show business, as a young boy Oliver Hardy was a gifted singer and, by age eight, was performing with minstrel shows. In 1910 he ran a movie theatre, which he preferred to studying law. In 1913 he became a comedy actor with the Lubin Company in Florida and began ...

18. Ben Turpin

Actor | Yankee Doodle in Berlin

First of all, the cross-eyed comedian of silent days was not born that way. Supposedly his right eye slipped out of alignment while playing the role of the similarly afflicted Happy Hooligan in vaudeville and it never adjusted. Ironically, it was this disability that would enhance his comic value ...

19. Ford Sterling

Actor | Yankee Doodle in Berlin

Ford Sterling was born on November 3, 1883 in La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA as George Ford Stich. He was an actor and director, known for Yankee Doodle in Berlin (1919), The Show-Off (1926) and Wild Oranges (1924). He was married to Teddy Sampson. He died on October 13, 1939 in Los Angeles, California,...

20. Larry Semon

Director | The Show

Slapstick comedian known for his charming, white-painted face and clownish smile, mugged his way to being a very highly paid and popular actor. His career was marred by personal problems, and his fortune was lost to high spending. By the time he died, he'd already been hospitalized for a nervous ...

aka Jester

21. W.C. Fields

Actor | It's a Gift

William Claude Dukenfield was the eldest of five children born to Cockney immigrant James Dukenfield and Philadelphia native Kate Felton. He went to school for four years, then quit to work with his father selling vegetables from a horse cart. At eleven, after many fights with his alcoholic father ...

22. 'Snub' Pollard

Actor | Starlight Over Texas

The slight frame (5' 6"), pale, serious countenance, and dark, droopy mustache are unmistakable, definitive identification badges in recalling silent comedian Harry "Snub" Pollard. Born in Australia as Harry Fraser, he joined a vaudeville troupe, which toured the United States around 1910. The ...

23. Vivien Oakland

Actress | The Florodora Girl

This vivacious, platinum-blonde leading lady of silent screen comedy was a former Ziegfeld Girl (under her birth name 'Anderson'). The daughter of Norwegian immigrants, she appeared in vaudeville from early childhood and began in films in 1915. Two years later she made her debut on Broadway. From ...

24. Mack Sennett

Actor | The Ghost

Mack Sennett was born Michael Sinnott on January 17, 1880 in Danville, Quebec, Canada, to Irish immigrant farmers. When he was 17, his parents moved the family to East Berlin, Connecticut, and he became a laborer at American Iron Works, a job he continued when they moved to Northampton, ...

25. James Finlayson

Actor | Pardon Us

Alongside Ben Turpin, diminutive Scots-born Jimmy Finlayson was, arguably, the most instantly recognisable of the many clowns of silent screen slapstick who made their living as comic foil to stars like Laurel & Hardy, or Harold Lloyd. The perpetually exasperated, squinting, bald-pated master of ...

26. Georges Méliès

Director | À la conquête du pôle

Georges Méliès was a French illusionist and film director famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest days of cinema.

Méliès was an especially prolific innovator in the use of special effects, popularizing such techniques as substitution splices, multiple exposures, ...

27. Al St. John

Actor | Billy the Kid Trapped

Al St. John was born on September 10, 1893 in Santa Ana, California, USA as Alfred St. John. He was an actor and director, known for Billy the Kid Trapped (1942), The Rangers' Round-Up (1938) and Law and Order (1942). He was married to Flo-Bell Moore, Yvonne June Villon Price Pearce (actress) and ...

28. Mack Swain

Actor | The Gold Rush

Mack Swain was born in 1876 and soon became a talented vaudevillian. In 1913 he was hired by Mack Sennett and appeared in a few Mabel Normand pictures until a year later he became even bigger when 'Charlie Chaplin' arrived at the Keystone Studio. Swain later created a character by the name of ...

29. Bobby Vernon

Actor | Bulldog Drummond

Bobby Vernon was born in the U.S. in 1897, was trained in Vaudeville and became a talented comic in the silent era. He began working in 1913, appearing in Lon Chaney's Almost an Actress (1913) and later worked for Mack Sennett, who teamed him up with young Gloria Swanson in 9 comedies between 1916 ...

30. Alice Davenport

Actress | Legend of Hollywood

Alice was a silent screen comedic actress. She worked in a number of Keystone films and also appeared in the early films that Chaplin did. Other actors that Alice worked with who went on to become big stars were Mabel Normand and Marie Dressler. Alice was married and divorced from Broadway actor ...

31. Louise Fazenda

Actress | The Bat

When top silent screen comedienne Mabel Normand would gripe to Mack Sennett about making classier films, Sennett's retort would always be, "I'll send for Fazenda." This gawky, highly popular slapstick funny girl put in her time first in two-reelers and Universal's Joker Comedies from 1913 on, but ...

32. Mistinguett

Soundtrack | La môme

Mistinguett was born on April 3, 1875 in Enghien-les-Bains, Val-d'Oise, France as Jeanne Florentine Bourgeois. She was an actress, known for La Vie en Rose (2007), Chignon d'or (1916) and Rigolboche (1936). She died on January 5, 1956 in Bougival, Yvelines, France.

Elsie LeClaire in USA

33. Charles R. Bowers

Director | The Valiant Rider

Charley Bowers led an extraordinary life even prior to getting involved with motion pictures. Supposedly kidnapped by circus performers at age six, he became an accomplished tightrope walker before returning home two years later. He did all types of work over the years, including circus jobs, ...

34. Will Rogers

Actor | Judge Priest

World-famous, widely popular American humorist of the vaudeville stage and of silent and sound films, Will Rogers graduated from military school, but his first real job was in the livestock business in Argentina, of all places. He transported pack animals across the South Atlantic from Buenos Aires...

35. Slim Summerville

Actor | All Quiet on the Western Front

Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1892, rustic-looking George "Slim" Summerville possessed one of those malleable mugs that made you laugh even before he opened his mouth. Young Slim ran away from home as a youth and lived a rather wanderlust life until a chance meeting with Mack Sennett through ...

36. Tyler Brooke

Actor | Poor Little Rich Girl

Tyler Brooke was born on June 6, 1886 in New York City, New York, USA as Victor Hugo de Biere. He was an actor, known for Poor Little Rich Girl (1936), Playboy of Paris (1930) and In Old Chicago (1938). He was married to Myrtle Laurine Neil, Laruna Wolcott and Elizabeth Bauland. He died on March 2,...

37. Mae Busch

Actress | Sons of the Desert

Mae Busch can certainly claim career versatility, having successfully played Erich von Stroheim's mistress, Lon Chaney's girlfriend, Charley Chase's sister, James Finlayson's ex-wife and Oliver Hardy's wife! She was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1891; her parents were in the theater and when she...

38. Max Davidson

Actor | A Daughter of the Poor

Max Davidson was born on May 23, 1875 in Berlin, Germany. He was an actor, known for A Daughter of the Poor (1917), Don Quixote (1915) and So This Is College (1929). He was married to Alice Marti. He died on September 4, 1950 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA.

39. Edna Marion

Actress | The Still Alarm

Edna Marion was born on December 12, 1906 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Edna Hannam. She was an actress, known for The Still Alarm (1926), Romance of the West (1930) and Readin', 'Ritin', 'Rithmetic (1926). She died on December 2, 1957 in Hollywood, California, USA.

40. Edna Murphy

Actress | Leatherstocking

Like many another pretty girl, Edna Murphy got to Hollywood via modeling. She was a top New York photographer's model when she made her film debut in 1918. By 1920 she had worked her way up to starring roles, and Fox put her in a serial, Fantomas (1920), that was quite well received. She made films...

41. Ossi Oswalda

Actress | Das Mädel mit der Maske

Ossi Oswalda was born Oswalda Staglich on February 2, 1899 in Berlin, Germany. She trained to be a ballerina and worked in chorus lines when she was a teenager. Director Ernst Lubitsch discovered her and cast her in his 1916 film The Shoe Palace. Over the next five years she appeared in many of ...

42. Karl Valentin

Actor | Donner, Blitz und Sonnenschein

Karl Valentin was born on June 4, 1882 in Munich, Bavaria, Germany as Valentin Ludwig Fey. He was an actor and writer, known for Donner, Blitz und Sonnenschein (1936), Die lustigen Vagabunden (1912) and Der verhexte Scheinwerfer (1934). He was married to Gisela Royes. He died on February 9, 1948 in...

43. Bobby Ray

Director | Dugan of the Dugouts

Bobby Ray was born on October 6, 1899 in New York, USA as Wilhelm Robert McBain Fuehrer. He was an assistant director and actor, known for Dugan of the Dugouts (1928), Riley of the Rainbow Division (1928) and Ridin' Thru (1934). He was married to Doris Storck. He died on March 26, 1957 in Los ...

44. Hank Mann

Actor | Modern Times

Hank Mann was born on May 28, 1887 in New York City, New York, USA as David William Lieberman. He was an actor and director, known for Modern Times (1936), The Great Dictator (1940) and City Lights (1931). He was married to Dolly Myers Robinson, Rae Max and Estelle. He died on November 25, 1971 in ...

45. Lew Fields

Actor | The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle

Lew Fields was born on January 1, 1867 in New York City, New York, USA as Moses Schanfield. He was an actor, known for The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939), The Barker (1917) and The Delicatessen Shop (1915). He was married to Rose Harris. He died on July 20, 1941 in Beverly Hills, Los ...

46. Frank Alexander

Actor | The Wizard of Oz

Frank "Fatty" Alexander was an obese comedian who appeared in silent one- and two-reel slapstick comedies as a side-kick before co-starring with two other heavyweights, Hilliard Karr and 'Kewpie Ross' in F.B.O.'s low-budget "Ton of Fun" series at the end of the silent era. Born in Olympia, ...

47. John J. Richardson

Actor | The Three Must-Get-Theres

John J. Richardson was born on November 1, 1888 in London, England as Harold Jack Joseph Richardson. He was an actor, known for The Three Must-Get-Theres (1922), Melting Millions (1927) and Beau Brummel (1924). He was married to Mabel Richardson. He died on January 24, 1942 in Los Angeles, ...

48. Phyllis Allen

Actress | White Youth

Getting her show business start in vaudeville, Phyllis Allen's large physique and excellent timing made her a natural for film comedies, and she appeared in many of Mack Sennett's slapstick films. She also appeared in several of Charles Chaplin's movies, and was often paired with equally hefty ...

49. Syd Chaplin

Actor | King, Queen and Joker

Syd Chaplin was born on March 16, 1885 in London, England as Sydney Hawkes. He was an actor and director, known for King, Queen and Joker (1921), The Better 'Ole (1926) and Gussle Rivals Jonah (1915). He was married to Gypsy and Minnie Chaplin. He died on April 15, 1965 in Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, ...

50. Fred Mace

Director | Without Hope

Mace was a dentist from Erie, Pennsylvania who at one point did some stage stock work for Mack Sennett. Heading west, he worked for Carl Laemmle and Thomas H. Ince before settling back with Sennett. After achieving success as the Chief of the Keystone Kops, he quit Sennett and opened his own ...

51. Katherine Grant

Actress | Wild Papa

Katherine Grant was born on May 1, 1904 in Los Angeles, California. Her parents divorced and her father passed away in 1921. At the age of eighteen she won the Miss Los Angeles beauty contest and competed in the Miss America pageant. Katherine worked as a professional dancer and to make extra money...

52. Monty Banks

Actor | Horse Shoes

Monty Banks was a short, stocky but somehow debonair Italian-born comic actor, later also writer and director. In the US from 1914, he first appeared on stage in musical comedy and cabaret. By 1917 he was working as a dancer in New York's Dominguez Cafe. After this he turned to films, acting and ...

53. Hallam Cooley

Actor | The Monster

Hallam Cooley was born on February 8, 1895 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. He was an actor, known for The Monster (1925), Holiday (1930) and The Daughter of the Don (1916). He was married to Elizabeth Bates. He died on March 20, 1971 in Tiburon, California, USA.

54. Neely Edwards

Actor | Show Boat

Neely Edwards was born on September 16, 1883 in Delphos, Ohio, USA as Cornelius Limbach. He was an actor, known for Show Boat (1929), Scarlet Pages (1930) and Made for Love (1926). He was married to Marguerite Snow. He died on July 10, 1965 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA.

55. Anita Garvin

Actress | Blotto

Dark-haired beauty, best known for her portrayals of a shrewish wife in Laurel (Stan Laurel) & Hardy (Oliver Hardy) films. Retired in the early 1940's.

56. Joe Bordeaux

Actor | Hurricane

Joe Bordeaux was born on March 9, 1886 in Pueblo, Colorado, USA as Joseph Emil Bordeaux. He was an actor, known for Hurricane (1929), The Butcher Boy (1917) and The Man Hunter (1930). He was married to Madeline Searby. He died on September 10, 1950 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

57. Glenn Tryon

Actor | The Secret Menace

Glenn Tryon was born on August 2, 1898 in Julietta, Idaho, USA as Glenn Monroe Kunkel. He was an actor and writer, known for The Secret Menace (1931), Hot Heels (1927) and Lonesome (1928). He was married to Jane Frazee and Lillian Hall. He died on April 18, 1970 in Orlando, Florida, USA.

58. Johnny Hines

Actor | Whistling in the Dark

Johnny Hines was born on July 25, 1895 in Golden, Colorado, USA as John F. Hines. He was an actor and director, known for Whistling in the Dark (1933), Little Johnny Jones (1923) and Stepping Along (1926). He was married to Irma Warner. He died on October 24, 1970 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

59. Billy West

Actor | The Nervous Reporter

Billy West was a silent film comedian, the best-known and most successful imitator of Charles Chaplin's "Tramp" character, until West developed his own comedic persona. Oliver Hardy was West's foil in many of his silents.

60. Joe Cobb

Actor | Good Cheer

Joe Cobb was born on November 7, 1916 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, USA. He was an actor, known for Good Cheer (1926), Small Talk (1929) and Where Did You Get That Girl? (1941). He died on May 21, 2002 in Santa Ana, California, USA.

61. Edgar Kennedy

Actor | Duck Soup

Edgar Kennedy, who was born on April 26, 1890, near Monterey, California, hit the road as a young man and traveled across the country, working in a succession of jobs. He became a professional boxer, claiming to have gone 14 rounds against The Manassas Mauler, Jack Dempsey.

In addition to his ...

62. Ed Brandenburg

Stunts | Name the Woman

Ed Brandenburg was in part an actor and stuntman for the Hal Roach Film Studio in the silent and early sound film period. He was the brother of Chet Brandenburg, who was also an actor and stuntman.

63. Chester A. Bachman

Actor | Putting Pants on Philip

Chester A. Bachman was born on July 12, 1882 in Wheeling, West Virginia, USA as Chester Arthur Bachman. He was an actor, known for Putting Pants on Philip (1927), Fancy Baggage (1929) and Outdoor Pajamas (1924). He died on May 14, 1966 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

64. William Gillespie

Actor | Stop, Look and Listen

William Gillespie was born on January 24, 1894 in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He was an actor, known for Stop, Look and Listen (1926), Her Dangerous Path (1923) and The Valley of Bravery (1926). He was married to Ann Monahan. He died on June 23, 1938 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

65. Noah Young

Actor | For Heaven's Sake

Noah Young was born on February 2, 1887 in North Park, Colorado, USA. He was an actor, known for For Heaven's Sake (1926), Battling Orioles (1924) and Ham and Eggs at the Front (1927). He died on April 18, 1958 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

66. Billy Bevan

Actor | Another Dawn

Billy Bevan's show-business career began in his native Australia, with the Pollard theatrical organization. The company had two theater troupes, one which toured Asia and the other traveling to North America. Bevan wound up in the latter, performing in skits and plays all over Canada and Alaska ...

67. Jack Cooper

Actor | Taxi Spooks

Jack Cooper was born on January 25, 1890 in Stockport, England as Frank B. He was an actor, known for Taxi Spooks (1929), The Carnival Girl (1926) and Midnight Daddies (1930). He was married to Adella Louise Anthes. He died on January 12, 1970 in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

68. Margaret Joslin

Actress | The Coming of Sophie's 'Mama'

Margaret Joslin was born on August 6, 1883 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA as Margaret Lucy Gosling. She was an actress, known for The Coming of Sophie's 'Mama' (1914), Sophie's Homecoming (1915) and Snakeville's Weak Women (1915). She was married to Harry Todd. She died on October 14, 1956 in Glendale, ...

69. Mildred Davis

Actress | Safety Last!

Mildred Davis was born on February 22, 1901 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Mildred Hillary Davis. She was an actress, known for Safety Last! (1923), A Sailor-Made Man (1921) and Grandma's Boy (1922). She was married to Harold Lloyd. She died on August 18, 1969 in Santa Monica, California, ...

70. Ernest Morrison

Actor | That Gang of Mine

"Sunshine Sammy" Morrison was most famous as one of the Dead End Kids/East Side Kids, but he was probably the most experienced actor of that group. Morrison made his film debut while still an infant; his father worked for a wealthy Los Angeles family that had connections in the film industry, and ...

71. James Parrott

Director | Pardon Us

Hal Roach hired him in the early 20's as a comedian called Paul Parrott but his talent was as a film director. He was also a good writer turning out many scripts for Laurel and Hardy and directed 22 of their films, more than any other of their directors. His first film with them was the 1927 silent...

72. Ernest Van Pelt

Director | Avenging Fangs

Ernest Van Pelt was born on March 31, 1883 in Kansas, USA as Ernest Edwin Van Pelt. He was an actor and assistant director, known for Avenging Fangs (1927), The Cloud Rider (1925) and Doc's Dog (1927). He died on July 1, 1961 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

73. Billy Franey

Actor | When Damon Fell for Pythias

William 'Billy' Franey was a leading comic character actor of dishevelled appearance and fuzzy moustache, usually in a suit a couple of sizes too big. His screen career began around 1913, with leads in the 'Joker' comedy series released by Universal. He was co-starred with Louise Fazenda (until her...

74. Billy Bletcher

Actor | The Lost City

Billy Bletcher, standing 5' 2", was known as the little guy with the big voice, who, ironically, started his film career during the silent era.

Billy's show business career began in 1913 at the age of 19 in vaudeville, and within a year, he went to work for Vitagraph Studios in Brooklyn where he ...

75. Bobby Dunn

Actor | His Busted Trust

Bobby Dunn was born on August 28, 1890 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA as Robert V. Dunn. He is known for his work on His Busted Trust (1916), Breed of the West (1930) and The Racketeer (1929). He died on March 24, 1937 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA.

76. Bert Roach

Actor | Yankee Doodle in Berlin

Chubby silent film comic Bert Roach began on the New York stage at the age of 17. In 1911, he headlined in the two-act musical farce Louisiana Lou and then spent several years in stock as a lead tenor. Two years later, he made his screen debut at Keystone in Mack Sennett's Fatty's Magic Pants (1914)...

77. Hugh Fay

Director | Glad Rags

Hugh Fay was born on June 9, 1882 in New York City, New York, USA. He was an actor and director, known for Glad Rags (1922), The Rainmaker (1922) and Won by a Foot (1917). He died on December 4, 1926 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

78. Fay Tincher

Actress | Don Quixote

Often compared in looks and ability to Mabel Normand, lively, dark-haired comedienne Fay Tincher began as a vaudeville and musical comedy actress. Though she had operatic aspirations at the outset, Fay settled on an acting career. She first appeared on the Chicago stage while still finishing her ...

79. Minta Durfee

Actress | The Water Dog

Early silent screen comedienne Araminta Durfee, started out as a chorus girl. In 1908, she began on stage in musical revue and in August that year married comedian Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle. In 1914, both players entered the fledgling film industry with Mack Sennett and were soon paired as a comedy ...

80. Glen Cavender

Actor | The General

Glen Cavender was born on September 19, 1883 in Tucson, Arizona, USA. He was an actor and director, known for The General (1926), The Lion and the Girl (1916) and A Scoundrel's Toll (1916). He was married to Hazel Chene. He died on February 9, 1962 in Hollywood, California, USA.

81. Cecile Arnold

Actress | Their Week Moments

Comedienne Cecile Arnold was born in Kentucky, USA in 1891 and made her debut in films at the age of 22, when she joined the Keystone studio. Although her work there mostly consisted of playing supporting roles, she did receive more prominent screen time on occasion, notably as a pretty blonde in ...

82. Dorrit Weixler

Actress | Das rosa Pantöffelchen

Dorrit Weixler was born on March 27, 1892 in Berlin, Germany. She was an actress, known for Das rosa Pantöffelchen (1913), Malheurchen Nummer acht (1915) and Der unsichtbare Zeuge (1914). She died on November 30, 1916 in Berlin.

83. Lige Conley

Actor | Casey Jones, Jr.

Lige Conley was born on December 5, 1897 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Elijah Crommie. He was an actor and writer, known for Casey Jones, Jr. (1923), King of the Kitchen (1926) and Sally, Irene and Mary (1938). He died on December 11, 1937 in Hollywood, California, USA.

84. Lupino Lane

Actor | The Love Parade

Lupino Lane was born on June 16, 1892 in London, England as Henry William George Lupino. He was an actor and director, known for The Love Parade (1929), Who's Your Father (1935) and The Maid of the Mountains (1932). He was married to Violet Blythe. He died on November 10, 1959 in London.

85. Charlie Hall

Actor | A Chump at Oxford

Born in Birmingham, England, Charlie Hall was a member of the famed Fred Karno vaudeville troupe, which gave the world Charles Chaplin and Stan Laurel. Hall arrived in the U.S. in the early 1920s, after Chaplin and Laurel, and entered films playing a foil for many of the era's top comics. He is ...

86. Eric Campbell

Actor | The Vagabond

Campbell was born in Sale, Cheshire on 26th April 1880 and began acting as a boy. He married fellow music hall performer Fanny Gertrude Robotham on March 30, 1901 and was later hired by English music hall impresario Fred Karno for his "Fun Factory" comedy troupes that featured other comics like a ...

87. Leon Errol

Actor | Higher and Higher

Leon Errol was born on July 3, 1881 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as Leonce Errol Simms. He was an actor, known for Higher and Higher (1943), The Girl from Mexico (1939) and The Invisible Man's Revenge (1944). He was married to Stella Bertha Nelson (aka Stella Chatelaine, dancer). He died ...

88. 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...

89. Joe Roberts

Actor | Our Hospitality

Joe Roberts was born on February 2, 1871 in Albany, New York, USA. He was an actor, known for Our Hospitality (1923), Neighbors (1920) and Three Ages (1923). He was married to Nina Mildred Straw Shannon and Lillian Stuart Feld Roberts. He died on October 28, 1923 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

90. Gale Henry

Actress | Lady Baffles and Detective Duck in the Great Egg Robbery

Eccentric, big-nosed, lugubrious-faced purveyor of silent screen slapstick, at one time billed as 'the elongated comedienne'. She was even suggested to have served as the model for 'Olive Oyl' of Popeye comic strip fame. An actual cartoon version of her was in fact featured in the British ...

91. Billy Dooley

Actor | Call of the Yukon

Billy Dooley was born on February 8, 1893 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He was an actor, known for Call of the Yukon (1938), The Marines Are Here (1938) and Dizzy Heights (1926). He died on August 4, 1938 in Hollywood, California, USA.

92. 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 ...

93. Bobby Clark

Actor | Kraft Television Theatre

Famed vaudeville comedian Bobby Clark was born in Springfield, Ohio on June 16, 1888. When he was 12 years old, Bobby and his classmate Paul McCullough created a tumbling act that they took on the road. The duo toured with a traveling minstrel troupe before joining a circus as clowns. The clown act...

94. 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, ...

95. Mae West

Actress | She Done Him Wrong

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 (1932), ...

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96. Fernandel

Actor | Don Camillo

The apocryphal biography of Fernand Contandin tells the invention of his artistic name Fernandel by his sister-in-law ("Voici le Fernand d'elles"). At the beginning of the thirties he became a typical actor of the comedy genre: popular, common, likable and with a concealed grain of drama. Marc ...

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97. Lou Costello

Actor | Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein

Lou Costello was born Louis Francis Cristillo in Paterson, New Jersey, to Helen (Rege) and Sebastiano Cristillo. His father was from Calabria, Italy, and his mother was an American of Italian, French, and Irish ancestry. Raised in Paterson, Costello dropped out of high school and headed west to ...

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98. Bud Abbott

Actor | Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein

Long acknowledged as one of the best "straight men" in the business, Bud Abbott was born William Alexander Abbott in Asbury Park, New Jersey, to Rae (Fisher) and Harry Abbott, who had both worked for the Barnum and Bailey Circus. He himself worked in carnivals while still a child and dropped out of ...

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99. Bert Wheeler

Actor | On Again-Off Again

After becoming an orphan as a baby - his mother died at the age of 17 - he was raised by his father and aunt, and later a step-mother, he went to New York, where he tried to break into showbiz.

He got his first break with Gus Edwards, working later as actor in several shows, among them "The ...

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100. Robert Woolsey

Actor | So This Is Africa

At the age of 7, his father died, leaving his mother and her six children in poverty, of the children, 4 died in early years. To earn some money to support the family, Robert took odd jobs, before becoming a jockey. This career ended when the horse, Pink Star, the future Kentucky Derby winner of ...

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