Biography Matching "vaudeville" (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)


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1. 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...

2. John Hurt

Actor | Nineteen Eighty-Four

One of stage, screen and TV's finest transatlantic talents, slight, gravel-voiced, pasty-looking John Vincent Hurt was born on January 22, 1940, in Shirebrook, a coal mining village, in Derbyshire, England. The youngest child of Phyllis (Massey), an engineer and one-time actress, and Reverend ...

3. 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"....

4. Mickey Rooney

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

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. ...

5. Mae West

Actress | She Done Him Wrong

Mae West was born 1892 in Brooklyn, 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, at age 40, was a small part in Night ...

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. 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, on April 19, 1937, she appeared as a radio singer and vaudeville dancer while a mere toddler, then was picked up by Universal Studios...

8. Hal Holbrook

Actor | Into the Wild

Hal Holbrook was an Emmy- and Tony-Award winning actor who was one of the great craftsmen of stage and screen. He was 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 ...

9. 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 ...

10. Arthur O'Connell

Actor | Anatomy of a Murder

Though stage, screen and TV veteran Arthur O'Connell was born in New York City (on March 29, 1908), he looked as countrified as the American Gothic painting or Mom's home-made apple pie. Looking much more comfy in overalls than he ever could in a tuxedo, he would find an equally comfortable niche ...

11. John Huston

Director | The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

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 was English,...

12. Ed Begley

Actor | 12 Angry Men

Charismatic character star Edward James Begley was born in Hartford, Connecticut of Irish parents and educated at St.Patrick's school. His interest in acting first surfaced at the age of nine, when he performed amateur theatricals at the Hartford Globe Theatre. Determined to make his own way, he ...

13. Phil Silvers

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Phil Silvers was a comedic actor of Russian-Jewish descent, nicknamed as "The King of Chutzpah". He was best known for his starring role as Master Sergeant Ernest "Ernie" Bilko in the hit sitcom "The Phil Silvers Show" (1955-1959). He had roles in the comedy films "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" ...

14. Federico Fellini

Writer | Le notti di Cabiria

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 ...

15. Fred Astaire

Soundtrack | Funny Face

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. ...

16. Sid Haig

Actor | House of 1000 Corpses

Tall, bald and nearly always bearded, Sid Haig 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 ...

17. Ginger Rogers

Actress | The Major and the Minor

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 ...

18. Charmian Carr

Actress | The Sound of Music

Charmian Carr was born Charmian Farnon on December 28, 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,...

19. Irene Ryan

Actress | The Beverly Hillbillies

Before becoming known to millions as Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies (1962), 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...

20. 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 ...

21. 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 (1974), for which he won an Emmy. In 1968 Albertson, the brother of actress Mabel Albertson, won the Oscar for Best Supporting ...

22. 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 ...

23. Walter Brennan

Actor | Red River

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 ...

24. 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 ...

25. Elisha Cook Jr.

Actor | Rosemary's Baby

Although this pint-sized actor started out in films often in innocuous college-student roles in mid-30s rah-rahs, playing alongside the likes of a pretty Gloria Stuart or a young, pre-"Oz" Judy Garland, casting directors would soon enough discover his flair for portraying intense neurotics or ...

26. 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 ...

27. Miriam Hopkins

Actress | The Heiress

Born into wealth in Savannah,Georgia on October 18, 1902, Ellen Miriam Hopkins was able to attend the finest educational institutions including Goddard Seminary in Plainfield, Vermont and Syracuse University in New York State. Studying dance in New York , she received her first taste of show ...

28. Don Stroud

Actor | Licence to Kill

The younger son of vaudeville great Clarence Stroud (of the Stroud Twins) and singer Ann McCormack, who toured the world with Frank Sinatra, Don Stroud grew up on the beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, where his stepfather, Paul Livermore, and his mother, Ann, owned and operated the popular Embers ...

29. Walter Huston

Actor | The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

For many years Walter Huston had two passions: his career as an engineer and his vocation for the stage. In 1909 he dedicated himself to the theatre, and made his debut on Broadway in 1924. In 1929 he journeyed to Hollywood, where his talent and ability made him one of the most respected actors in ...

30. 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 ...

31. Jennifer Lyons

Actress | Can't Hardly Wait

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....

32. Al Lewis

Actor | Super Scary Saturday

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 ...

33. Van Johnson

Actor | Battleground

Van Johnson was the fresh-faced, well-mannered nice guy on screen you always 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 gossip...

34. Fred MacMurray

Actor | Double Indemnity

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 ...

35. 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 (1952), in which he did an impressive dance that culminated in a series of backflips off the wall. O'Connor was also ...

36. Gloria DeHaven

Actress | Down Among the Sheltering Palms

Gloria Mildred DeHaven was born on July 23, 1925 in Los Angeles 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 ...

37. Bill Hayes

Actor | Days of Our Lives

Throughout the 1970s and a good part of the 1980s, Bill Hayes and his second wife, Emmy-winning Susan Seaforth Hayes, reigned as the Lunt and Fontanne of daytime soaps. Prior to this he had become a noted singer/actor on the Broadway stage and in night clubs. Born William Foster Hayes III in Harvey...

38. Ona Munson

Actress | Gone with the Wind

Ona Munson was born Owena Elizabeth Wolcott on June 16, 1903 in Portland, Oregon. She took singing and dancing lessons when she was a child. At the age of fourteen, Ona moved to New York City with her mother. She began her career performing in vaudeville. In 1919 she made her Broadway debut in ...

39. Jay C. Flippen

Actor | The Killing

Jay C. Flippen could probably be characterized these days as one of those craggy, distinctive faces you know but whose name escapes you while viewing scores of old 1950s and 1960s films and television series. Playing both sides of the law throughout his career, his huge cranium, distinctive bulldog...

40. Emma Chambers

Actress | Notting Hill

Emma was born Emma Gwynedd Mary Chambers born in Doncaster, South Yorkshire in 1964 to John, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, and Noelle (nee Strange). The family moved around and, while attending St Swithun's school, Winchester, Chambers acted in Winchester college productions - saying...

41. 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. ...

42. Stan Laurel

Actor | Sons of the Desert

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 ...

43. 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 ...

44. Joan Taylor

Actress | 20 Million Miles to Earth

Joan Taylor's mother, Amelia Berky, was a vaudeville singing-dancing star in the 1920s. Her father was a prop man in Hollywood during that same period, but, after Joan's birth, the family moved to Lake Forest, Illinois, where her father managed a movie theater. She developed a love of movies from ...

45. Rose Marie

Actress | The Dick Van Dyke Show

Rose Marie was a legend of show business, with a career stretching 90 years, since her debut as her self in a Vitaphone musical short that appeared on the bill with The Jazz Singer (1927) at its premiere in 1927. According to Rose Marie, when she approached Al Jolson at The Wintergarden Theater in ...

46. Charlotte Greenwood

Actress | Oklahoma!

Charlotte Greenwood was born Frances Charlotte Greenwood on June 25, 1890, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was a sickly child and her father left the family when she was very young. Charlotte grew into a healthy, six foot tall woman. She started her career dancing in vaudeville where she became ...

47. Zasu Pitts

Actress | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Classic comedienne Zasu Pitts, of the timid, forlorn blue eyes and trademark woebegone vocal pattern and fidgety hands, was born to Rulandus and Nellie (Shay) Pitts, the third of four children on January 3, 1894. Her aged New York-native father, who lost a leg back in the Civil War era, had settled...

48. Sammy Davis Jr.

Actor | The Cannonball Run

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 Cuban and African-American ancestry. Davis Jr....

49. Carolyn Seymour

Actress | Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

Carolyn Seymour is a highly accomplished actress of stage and screen, with a long and impressive list of credits on both sides of the Atlantic.

Born in Buckinghamshire to an Estonian father with Russian descent and an Irish mother, Carolyn trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, before ...

50. Percy Helton

Actor | The Set-Up

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 ...


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