Biography Author Matching "Jane Margaret Laight" (Sorted by Name Ascending)


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1. A. Robins

Actor | Seeing Red

Adolf Proper was the son of a Viennese textile manufacturer; he left home as a teenager to go into show business as a street performer, and changed his last name to "Robins", as he said, "Like Rubens, the painter." He traveled through Europe in his younger days as a comedian who used musical ...

2. Adele Ray

Actress | Sealed Lips

Known for her eccentricities, in 1913 Adele Ray attempted to start fashion trends--once, by promoting the wearing of long split skirts in the winter, protecting the legs by wearing fur anklets; it failed to catch on. She moved to Nyack, New York after her first marriage ended, and scandalized the ...

3. Al Gallodoro

Rhapsody in Blue

Well into his nineties, and still going strong, Al Gallodoro is known as one of the very last of the big band reed men; he started playing professionally for the group "Romeo and His Juliets" at the Lyric Theatre in his home town of Birmingham, Alabama soon after his thirteenth birthday. From there...

4. Andrew Tribble

Actor | The Darktown Revue

Andrew Tribble was an experienced vaudevillian, working with Bert Williams and Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle in the Broadway hit "Shuffle Along" as well as a number of road shows,primarily working the towns and cities on the T.O. B. A. circuit. An experienced dancer, comedian, monologist and singer,...

5. Anna Minot

Actress | Condition Red

Anna Minot's first stage role was as a chickadee in a elementary school play. By the time she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College in 1939, she had acted in community theatre and in summer stock. She went on from there to a long and distinguished career on the stage, with occasional film ...

6. Apus

Actor | Sepia Cinderella

Montrose Morse, or "Apus Brooks" was a vaudeville veteran, having started at the age of sixteen when he was pressed into service as a comedian when a comedy act at the Miami theater he was working at lost one of its members. Apus, either with his wife, Estrellita,in a comedy dance routine, or with ...

7. Arnold Sundgaard

Writer | Omnibus

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Yale Drama School, Arnold Sundgaard was best known as a Broadway playwright and librettist, having a hand in the writing of six Broadway plays; he also was known as a writer of children's books and a short story writer as well as a college professor...

8. Aubrey Bowser

Writer | The Call of His People

Aubrey H. Bowser, a teacher and freelance writer in the New York City metropolitan area, was the son-in-law of famed African-American newspaperman T. Thomas Fortune, the leading Black journalist of the nineteenth century. A 1908 graduate of Harvard University, upon graduation, Bowser went to work ...

9. B.L. Teycer

Director | The Wife Hunters

Pharmacist Bobbie Lee Teycer and his brother Joe, a San Antonio policeman, were the owners of the Lone Star Motion Picture Company of San Antonio and were active between 1919 and 1923. B.L. Teycer, described in the contemporary press as "President and cameraman," would eventually move to Chicago, ...

10. Barrington Carter

Actor | Thirty Years Later

Barrington Carter was best known as a stage actor of long standing; with his wife, he worked minstrel shows and medicine shows through vaudeville and the Broadway stage; in New York City, where he settled after the turn of the century, he was known as an actor, director, producer and booking agent.

11. Bellamy Partridge

Writer | Excuse My Dust

A 1900 graduate of Hobart College, Bellamy Partridge went on to study law, and for about a decade practiced law with his father, Civil War veteran and country lawyer Samuel Selden Partridge, in the little town of Phelps, New York--near Rochester--before striking out as a freelance writer, novelist ...

12. Benny Payne

Actor | Sunny Side of the Street

Consummate pianist and arranger, Benny Payne played with greats like Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Chu Berry, and Fats Waller, but his longest collaboration was with the lounge singer Billy Daniels; during the 1950s, they were among the first African-American entertainers to appear on national ...

13. Billy B. Van

Actor | The Beauty Shop

Described by the grandson of Lew Fields (Weber & Fields) as "one of the most amusing men on vaudeville stage", Billy B. Van was an experienced and long traveled actor, comedian, dancer, and singer/songwriter both on the vaudeville and legitimate stages, who, for over thirty years, both alone, and ...

14. Bobby Chacon

Self | The Fall Guy

Professional boxer who scored world championships in two weight classes--featherweight and super-featherweight--with a record of 59 wins (45 by knockout), 7 losses, and 1 draw. In 1983, Ring Magazine named Chacon its "Comeback Player of the Year." In 1988, Warren Zevon in his song "Boom Boom ...

15. Britt Lomond

Assistant Director | Midnight Run

Britt Lomond is best remembered as the sinister yet dashing Captain Monastario, the arch nemesis of Guy Williams' Zorro in the first thirteen shows of the 50s television show. The Commandante of the Pueblo de Los Angeles, Captain Monastario was always confounded by Zorro, and his machinations were ...

16. Buck O'Neil

Self | Crossing White Lines

As a boy near Sarasota, Florida, Buck O'Neil hung around the New York Yankees spring training camps, and occasionally would be allowed inside to see them play. However, as a young black boy in 1920s America, O'Neil had no chance to play baseball in the major leagues. Nevertheless, he started out as...

17. Byron Houck

Cinematographer | Sherlock Jr.

Byron Houck attended the University of Oregon and became a professional baseball pitcher; he played for the Philadelphia Athletics in the American League (1912-1914), the Brooklyn Tip-Tops in the outlaw Federal League(1914), and the St. Louis Browns in the American League(1918); he had a lifetime ...

18. C. Delores Tucker

Self | 5 Sides of a Coin

C. Delores Tucker, once one of the highest ranking African-American women in state government, as well as being nationally known as a stalwart opponent of gangsta rap, was born in Philadelphia, the tenth of eleven children of a Bahamian-born Baptist minister and his "Christian feminist" wife who ...

19. Carol Ryrie Brink

Writer | All I Desire

Caroline Ryrie was the daughter of a Scots immigrant who became the first mayor of the town of Moscow, Idaho, and his wife, the daughter of a pioneer medical doctor. Early orphaned, Carol, as she was called, was reared by her maternal grandmother Caroline Augusta Woodhouse Watkins and her two ...

20. Charles Albin

The Toy Wife

Charles Albin was well known in his day as a portrait painter, and later as a society photographer, best known for his portraits of Lillian Gish, John Barrymore and Mary Astor ; it was his portrait of Astor that brought her to Hollywood fame. A native of Montreal, Albin emigrated to the United ...

21. Charles Mercer

Writer | The Sins of Rachel Cade

The son of a Baptist minister, Charles Mercer was a 1939 graduate of Brown University and served in U.S, Army Intelligence in World War II and during the Korean Conflict. Starting as a reporter for the Washington Post, Mercer subsequently wrote a column about television programs for the Associated ...

22. Charlie Beal

Actor | New Orleans

The son of a Los Angeles based U.S. postal mail carrier, Charlie Beal was born and raised in the nearby town of Redlands and was educated in its public schools. With his younger brother Eddie, Charlie was known as a free-lance piano player in the Los Angeles jazz scene during the early 1930s, and ...

23. Christine D. Coleman

Actress | Being John Malkovich

Christine Coleman came late to acting; for most of her life, she had worked for the Los Angeles City Clerk's Office, retiring in 1980 after a thirty-one year career. After she retired, searching about for something to do with her time, she started acting classes at Los Angeles City College and ...

24. Christopher Columbus

Actor | It Happened in Harlem

Christopher Columbus' career ran from the big band era well into the period of rock and roll. Starting as a drummer in small bands, he started his own band in the 1930s and headed it for almost two decades, playing various venues including the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. From 1947 to 1952, he played ...

25. Chuck Río

Soundtrack | Baby Driver

Danny Flores was a talented saxophonist and singer who was also proficient on keyboards; in December 1957, he headed the Flores Trio, consisting also of Gene Alden on drums and Buddy Bruce on guitar; they participated in a recording session at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood for Gene Autry's ...

26. Con Colleano

Stunts | Flesh and Fantasy

A member of the Circus Hall of Fame, Con Colleano is in the Guinness Book of World Records as being the first person to ever successfully attempt a forward somersault on a low-wire tightrope. The son of an Irish bare-knuckle boxer and an Aboriginal woman, Con and his family put together a traveling...

27. Dick Bennard

Actor | Beatrice Fairfax

Dick Bennard worked as a juggler and acrobat in traveling circuses; as a comedian and actor on the vaudeville stage; as an actor in silent films produced in Ithaca, New York; as a makeup man for Paramount Pictures, and as the manager of the Manhattan Theater in Ithaca before settling down as a ...

28. Dick Oliver

Self | Good Day New York

The son of a New York City firefighter, Dick Oliver started his career as a journalist as a copy boy for the New York Daily News. After attending Columbia University and working as a reporter for United Press International, he returned to the News as a reporter, working his way up through the ranks...

29. Dika Newlin

Actress | Creep

A child prodigy, Dika Newlin graduated from the University of Michigan at the age of sixteen and earned her doctorate in Music from Columbia University at the age of twenty-two. She studied piano with Rudolf Serkin, Artur Schnabel and, most famously, with Arnold Schoenberg. She taught at a number ...

30. Dink Stewart

Actor | A Son of Satan

A stalwart of the African-American stage, Ben "Dink" Stewart started out with his brother Alex singing and dancing for pennies on the streets of Cincinnati, Ohio. They soon worked up an act good enough to have them enter vaudeville. Dink went on to be known as a comedian and "sinegr of funny songs....

31. Doe Doe Green

Actor | Enemies of the Law

Best known for his work on the stage, "Doe Doe" Green started his acting life as a rodeo clown and comedian for the 101 Ranch Circus and worked his way east as a comedian on the TOBA circuit, and as an actor in minstrel shows, vaudeville, and, ultimately, the legitimate stage. He was best known for...

32. Dorothy M. Johnson

Writer | The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

A graduate of the University of Montana, Dorothy Marie Johnson left her widowed mother in Whitefish, Montana and moved to New York City, where she worked as a writer and an editor of women's magazines. In 1950, she returned to Whitefish and edited the local paper for three years; she then joined ...

33. Dorothy Uhnak

Writer | Get Christie Love!

Born next to the 46th Precinct house in the Bronx, almost from birth Dorothy Uhnak (prounced YOU-nak) knew that she wanted to be a cop. As it was, she spent fourteen years (twelve as a detective) on the Metropolitan New York Transit Police before resigning to finish her education at John Jay ...

34. Doryce Bradley

Mantan Messes Up

Known as an "exotic dancer", Doryce Bradley went from the streets of Newark, New Jersey to "black and tan" revues and shows all over the United States and Canada. She started out with 'Bill "Bojangles" Robinson' and Buck and Bubbles in 1938 in "Harlem in Parade" on the RKO vaudeville circuit; from ...

35. Ed Bradley

Self | 60 Minutes

A graduate of Thomas More Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia and Cheyney State Teachers College (now Cheyney University), Ed Bradley was teaching sixth grade in the Philadelphia public school system when he accepted a dare to report the news on a local radio station; he fell in love with it...

36. Ed Warren

Amityville II: The Possession

After being discharged from the U.S. Navy after World War II, Ed Warren was an itinerant house and sign painter traveling around New England. However, with his wife Lorraine Warren, née Lorraine Moran, he became known as a demonologist employed in investigating reports of haunted houses. They ...

37. Eddie Davis

Actor | Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Longtime song and dance man Eddie Davis ran away from his North Philadelphia home at the age of twelve, making his way as a carnival barker. After serving in the U. S. Army in World War I, he started singing in Atlantic City nightclubs, and at the onset of prohibition, with Leon Enkin opened a ...

38. Edgar Connor

Actor | Hallelujah I'm a Bum

Edgar Connor grew up dancing for pennies on the streets of Jacksonville, Florida, when, in 1906, J. Rosamond Johnson and Bob Cole, two black vaudevillians, recruited him to sing and dance in two of their vaudeville productions, "The Shoo-Fly Regiment" and "The Red Moon." From there, he became a ...

39. Edward F. Nulty

Three Little Words

Minor-league baseball player; played all three outfield positions as well as catcher for various teams between 1942 and 1951, with three years off for World War II, where he served in the U.S. Army. After his baseball career ended, he was involved in various business endeavors in and around the Los...

40. Edwin Tobolowsky

Producer | Creature of Destruction

A graduate of the University of Texas and Southern Methodist University School of Law, Edwin Tobolowsky, besides being a movie producer, was also well known as an attorney specializing in antitrust litigation. In 1960, he appeared before the United States Supreme Court representing theater owners ...

41. Ellsworth 'Sonny' Wisecarver

Actor | In the Mood

Ellsworth Wisecarver was known as the "Woo-Woo Kid" due to his exploits as a teenager; when he was fourteen, he ran off with the married mother of two; two years later, he did it again. This time, the woman he ran off with was arrested and subsequently convicted for contributing to the delinquency ...

42. Estellita

Actor | Sepia Cinderella

Born in Venezuela to a French father and a Venezuelan mother, Estrellita moved to Harlem with her family when she was two years old and was educated in New York City schools. She started her dancing career in the chorus lines of the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater. It was at the latter that she ...

43. Eugene Lucas

Actor | Injustice

Employed as a warder in the Los Angeles County jail for almost four years and then as a laborer on the municipal docks; rose to the position of waterfront guard and then, ultimately, wharf clerk. World War I veteran, served as First Lieutenant, Company A, 368th U.S. Infantry, 92nd Division, 1917-19.

44. Fay Adler

Actress | My Little Chickadee

Natives of San Bernardino, California, Fay Kelly and her older sister Fawn took the surname of Adler after their parents divorced and their mother remarried to a hotel owner. Fay and Fawn learned the art of dancing at Ernest Belcher's dancing school in Los Angeles; by her late teens, Fay was, with ...

45. Felix Browder

Self | American Experience

The eldest son of Earl Browder, the leader of the U.S. Communist Party, Felix Browder was a child prodigy who finished the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in two years and earned his PhD in mathematics at the age of twenty, but, due to his father's involvement in the Communist Party, found it...

46. Florenz Ames

Actor | The Adventures of Ellery Queen

A relative newcomer to television at a time when most people would be looking toward retirement, Florenz Ames started out as a song and dance man in vaudeville, often performing on smaller stages with his wife Alice "Adelaide" Winthrop; as "Ames and Winthrop" they appeared in a revue called "Alice ...

47. Frances Trego Montgomery

Writer | Billy Whiskers

Frances Trego Montgomery was a prolific writer of children's stories during the early twentieth century. She is best known for her popular "Billy Whiskers" series, which were about the misadventures of a mischievous but somewhat short-tempered goat. Many children, including the future President of ...

48. Fred Bonny

Actor | Drums o' Voodoo

Originally from New Orleans, Fred Bonny was a song and dance man who worked in minstrel shows and in vaudeville for over forty years. With his wife, Pauline Freeman, they performed as "Bonny & Freeman," described as "exponents of the ULTRA TANGO DE LUXE and the Poetry of Terpsichore," and traveled ...

49. Fred H. Hayn

Actor | One of the Pack

A 1897 graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, for over twenty years Fred Hayn worked at the United States Patent Office, in Washington, D.C., rising to the post of First Assistant Examiner, while supplementing his income writing articles and screenplays. He went to law school, and ...

50. Gary Dahl

Actor | Wiseguy

Described as a "marketing genius" as well as a "genial mountebank", Gary Dahl, an award-winning copywriter, creative director, advertising agency owner, and entrepreneur, is best known in history for this fact: in 1975, he invented the pet rock. His life was never the same again. In 1988, he told ...


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