Bert Lytell, born Bertram Lyttel, was an actor in theater and film during the silent film era. He starred in romantic and adventure films. On stage he was with Marie Dressler in her 1914 Broadway play, A MIX-UP, he had success in vaudeville in the 1920s with the one-act play The Valiant. Lytell was born in New York City, his younger brother Wilfred Lytell would become a popular stage and screen actor. Bert Lytell married the silent film actress Claire Windsor in 1925. Like many other silent screen stars, Lytell's career collapsed after the advent of talking pictures, he was President of the actors, club "The Lambs" from 1947 to 1952 and is listed as an "Immortal Lamb". Lytell died in New York City, aged 69, his brother Wilfred died 18 days before. He has a star at 6417 Hollywood Avenue in the Motion Picture section of the Hollywood Walk of Fame; the Lone Wolf The Trail to Yesterday No Man's Land Boston Blackie's Little Pal Unexpected Places Hitting the High Spots Empty Pockets The Spender The Lion's Den Lombardi, Ltd.
Faith Blind Man's Eyes Blackie's Redemption One-Thing-at-a-Time O'Day Easy to Make Money The Right of Way Alias Jimmy Valentine The Misleading Lady Alias Ladyfingers A Trip to Paradise an adaptation of Liliom The Idle Rich The Man Who A Message from Mars A Trip to Paradise A Trip to Paramountown short film To Have and to Hold Kick In The Face Between The Right That Failed Sherlock Brown The Eternal City The Meanest Man in the World A Son of the Sahara Born Rich Sandra Eve's Lover Lady Windermere's Fan The Ship of Souls The Sporting Life Never the Twain Shall Meet Obey The Law The Gilded Butterfly That Model from Paris The Lone Wolf Returns On Trial The Lone Wolf's Daughter Brothers The Stolen Jools Stage Door Canteen Bert Lytell on IMDb Bert Lytell at the Internet Broadway Database Bert Lytell at Find a Grave Bert Lytell at Virtual History
Equity (British trade union)
Equity officially titled the British Actors' Equity Association, is the trade union for theatre directors, fight directors, set designers, costume designers, lighting designers, stage managers and performers in the United Kingdom. It was formed in 1929 by a group of West End performers and, in 1967, it incorporated the Variety Artistes' Federation. Equity was one of the last of the closed shop trade unions in the UK; this was criticised in 1981 and made illegal in 1988, with the result that it is no longer a requirement that an entertainment professional be a member of Equity. Equity requires its members to have unique professional names, it was formed in 1930 by a group of West End performers. It was formed at the home of Ben Webster. Like many other British trade unions, Equity operated a closed shop policy—it was not possible for someone to join unless they had sufficient paid work, most jobs were reserved for Equity card holders. To allow new members to join, there was a limited number of non-card holding jobs on regional productions.
Whilst working on these productions, actors held a provisional membership card, and, on completing the requisite number of weeks, could apply for full membership, thereafter work in the West End, or on film and television. As a result of reforms of trade unions by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government, the introduction of European legislation, closed shop unions became illegal in the UK and Equity discontinued this policy in the 1980s. However, to join, evidence must be provided of sufficient paid professional work. In 1976, Equity introduced a policy of refusing to sell programmes to the South African Broadcasting Corporation, an action that led to a virtual blackout of British television in apartheid South Africa. 1930: Alfred M. Wall 1935: Geoffrey Robinson 1939: C. B. Purdom 1940: Llewellyn Rees 1946: Gordon Sandison 1958: Gerald Croasdell 1973: Peter Plouviez 1991: Ian McGarry 2005: Christine Payne 1932: Godfrey Seymour Tearle 1940: Lewis Thomas Casson 1946: Beatrix Lehmann 1948: Leslie Banks 1949: Felix Aylmer 1969: Ernest Clark 1973: André Morell 1975: Hugh Manning 1978: John Barron 1982: Hugh Manning 1984: Derek Bond 1986: Nigel Davenport 1992: Jeffry Wickham 1994: Frederick Pyne 2002: Harry Landis 2008: Graham Hamilton 2010: Malcolm Sinclair 2018: Maureen Beattie Equivalent associations in the United States: Actors' Equity Association SAG-AFTRA Lee, Felicity R..
"British Group Urges Freer Exchange of Actors With U. S." The New York Times. Retrieved 29 June 2013. Official website
Cabaret is a form of theatrical entertainment featuring music, dance, recitation, or drama. It is distinguished by the performance venue, which might be a pub, a restaurant or a nightclub with a stage for performances; the audience dining or drinking, does not dance but sits at tables. Performances are introduced by a master of ceremonies or MC; the entertainment, as done by an ensemble of actors and according to its European origins, is oriented towards adult audiences and of a underground nature. In the United States striptease, drag shows, or a solo vocalist with a pianist, as well as the venues which offer this entertainment, are advertised as cabarets; the term came from Picard language or Walloon language words camberete or cambret for a small room. The first printed use of the word kaberet is found in a document from 1275 in Tournai; the term was used since the 13th century in Middle Dutch to mean an inexpensive restaurant. The word cambret, itself derived from an earlier form of chambrette, little room, or from the Norman French chamber meaning tavern, itself derived from the Late Latin word camera meaning an arched roof.
Cabarets had appeared in Paris by at least the late fifteenth century. They were distinguished from taverns because they served food as well as wine, the table was covered with a cloth, the price was charged by the plate, not the mug, they were not associated with entertainment if musicians sometimes performed in both. Early on, cabarets were considered better than taverns. In the seventeenth century, a clearer distinction emerged when taverns were limited to selling wine, to serving roast meats. Cabarets were used as meeting places for writers, actors and artists. Writers such as La Fontaine and Jean Racine were known to frequent a cabaret called the Mouton Blanc on rue du Vieux-Colombier, the Croix de Lorraine on the modern rue Bourg-Tibourg. In 1773 French poets, painters and writers began to meet in a cabaret called Le Caveau on rue de Buci, where they composed and sang songs; the Caveau continued until 1816, when it was forced to close because its clients wrote songs mocking the royal government.
In the 18th century the café-concert or café-chantant appeared, which offered food along with music, singers, or magicians. The most famous was the Cafe des Aveugles in the cellars of the Palais-Royal, which had a small orchestra of blind musicians. In the early 19th century many cafés-chantants appeared around the city. By 1900, there were more than 150 cafés-chantants in Paris; the first cabaret in the modern sense was Le Chat Noir in the Bohemian neighborhood of Montmartre, created in 1881 by Rodolphe Salis, a theatrical agent and entrepreneur. It combined music and other entertainment with political satire; the Chat Noir brought together the wealthy and famous of Paris with the Bohemians and artists of Montmartre and the Pigalle. Its clientele a mixture of writers and painters, of journalists and students, of employees and high-livers, as well as models and true grand dames searching for exotic experiences." The host was Salis calling himself a gentleman-cabaretier. The cabaret was too small for the crowds trying to get in.
The composer Eric Satie, after finishing his studies at the Conservatory, earned his living playing the piano at the Chat Noir. By 1896 there were fifty-six cafes with music in Paris, along with a dozen music halls; the cabarets did not have a high reputation. The traditional cabarets, with monologues and songs and little decor, were replaced by more specialized venues; some were purely theatrical. Some focused on the erotic; the Caberet de la fin du Monde had servers dressed as Greek and Roman gods and presented living tableaus that were between erotic and pornographic. By the end of the century there were only a few cabarets of the old style remaining where artists and bohemians gathered, they included the Cabaret des noctambules on Rue Champollion on the Left Bank. The music hall, first invented in London, appeared in Paris in 1862, it offered more lavish musical and theatrical productions, with elaborate costumes and dancing. The theaters of Paris, fearing competition from the music halls, had a law passed by the National Assembly forbidding music hall performers to wear costumes, wear wigs, or recite dialogue.
The law was challenged by the owner of the music hall Eldorado in 1867, who put a former famous actress from the Comédie-Française on stage to recite verse from Corneille and Racine. The public took the side of the music halls, the law was repealed; the Moulin Rouge was opened in 1889 by the Catalan Jo
The Hollywood blacklist was the popular term for what was in actuality a broader entertainment industry blacklist put in effect in the mid 20th century in the United States during the early part of the Cold War. The blacklist involved the practice of denying employment to entertainment industry professionals believed to be or to have been Communists or sympathizers. Not just actors, but screenwriters, directors and other American entertainment professionals were barred from work by the studios; this was done on the basis of their membership, alleged membership in, or just sympathy with the Communist Party USA, or on the basis of their refusal to assist congressional investigations into the party's activities. During the period of its strictest enforcement, from the late 1940s through to the late 1950s, the blacklist was made explicit or verifiable, but it and directly damaged or ended the careers and income of scores of individuals working in the film industry; the first systematic Hollywood blacklist was instituted on November 25, 1947, the day after ten writers and directors were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.
These personalities were subpoenaed to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee in October. The contempt citation included a criminal charge, which led to a publicized trial and an eventual conviction with a maximum of one year in jail in addition to a $1,000 fine; the Congressional action prompted a group of studio executives, acting under the aegis of the Association of Motion Picture Producers, to fire the artists – the so-called Hollywood Ten – and made what has become known as the Waldorf Statement. It was announced via a news release after the major producers met at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and it included a condemnation of the personalities involved ostracizing those named from the industry; these producers instituted a compulsory oaths of loyalty from among its employees with the threat of a blacklist. On June 22, 1950, a pamphlet entitled Red Channels was published. Focused on the field of broadcasting, it identified 151 entertainment industry professionals in the context of "Red Fascists and their sympathizers".
Soon, most of those named, along with a host of other artists, were barred from employment in most of the entertainment field. The blacklist lasted until 1960, when Dalton Trumbo, a Communist Party member from 1943 to 1948 and member of the Hollywood Ten, was credited as the screenwriter of the successful film Exodus, publicly acknowledged by actor Kirk Douglas for writing the screenplay for the movie Spartacus. A number of those blacklisted, were still barred from work in their professions for years afterward; the Hollywood blacklist was rooted in events of the 1930s and the early 1940s, encompassing the height of the Great Depression and World War II. Two major film industry strikes during the 1930s increased tensions between the Hollywood producers and the unions the Screen Writers Guild; the American Communist Party lost substantial support after the Moscow show trials of 1936–1938 and the German–Soviet Nonaggression Pact of 1939. The U. S. government began turning its attention to the possible links between Hollywood and the party during this period.
Under then-chairman Martin Dies, Jr. the House Un-American Activities Committee released a report in 1938 claiming that communism was pervasive in Hollywood. Two years Dies took testimony from a former Communist Party member, John L. Leech, who named forty-two movie industry professionals as Communists. After Leech repeated his charges in supposed confidence to a Los Angeles grand jury, many of the names were reported in the press, including those of stars Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Katharine Hepburn, Melvyn Douglas and Fredric March, among other well-known Hollywood figures. Dies said he would "clear" all those who co-operated by meeting with him in what he called "executive session". Within two weeks of the grand jury leak, all those on the list except for actress Jean Muir had met with the HUAC chairman. Dies "cleared" everyone except actor Lionel Stander, fired by the movie studio, Republic Pictures, where he was contracted. In 1941, producer Walt Disney took out an ad in Variety, the industry trade magazine, declaring his conviction that "Communist agitation" was behind a cartoonists and animators' strike.
According to historians Larry Ceplair and Steven Englund, "In actuality, the strike had resulted from Disney's overbearing paternalism, high-handedness, insensitivity." Inspired by Disney, California State Senator Jack Tenney, chairman of the state legislature's Joint Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities, launched an investigation of "Reds in movies". The probe fell flat, was mocked in several Variety headlines; the subsequent wartime alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union brought the American Communist Party newfound credibility. During the war, membership in the party reached a peak of 50,000; as World War II drew to a close, perceptions changed again, with communism becoming a focus of American fears and hatred. In 1945, Gerald L. K. Smith, founder of the neofascist America First Party, began giving speeches in Los Angeles assailing the "alien minded Russian Jews in Hollywood". Mississippi congressman John E. Rankin, a member of HUAC, held a press conference to declare that "one of the most dangerous plots instigated for the overthrow of this Government has its headquarters in Hollywood... the greatest hotbed of subversive activities in the United States".
Rankin promised, "We're on the trail of the tarantula now". Reports of Soviet repression in Eastern and Central Europe in the war's aftermath added more fuel t
Oliver Burgess Meredith was an American actor, director and writer. Active for more than six decades, Meredith has been called "a virtuosic actor" and "one of the most accomplished actors of the century". A lifetime member of the Actors Studio by invitation, he won several Emmys, was the first male actor to win the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor twice, was nominated for two Academy Awards, he established himself as a leading man in Hollywood with critically acclaimed performances as George Milton in Of Mice and Men, Ernie Pyle in The Story of G. I. Joe, the narrator of A Walk in the Sun. Meredith was known in his career for his appearances on The Twilight Zone and for portraying arch-villain The Penguin on the 1960s TV series Batman and boxing trainer Mickey Goldmill in the Rocky film series. For his performances in The Day of the Locust and Rocky, he received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, he starred in the comedy Foul Play and the fantasy film Clash of the Titans.
He narrated numerous films and documentaries during his long career, including Twilight Zone: The Movie."Although those performances renewed his popularity," observed Mel Gussow in The New York Times, "they represented only a small part of a richly varied career in which he played many of the more demanding roles in classical and contemporary theater—in plays by Shakespeare, O'Neill and others." Meredith was born in 1907 in Cleveland, the son of Ida Beth and Dr. William George Meredith, a Canadian-born physician, of English descent, his mother came from a long line of Methodist revivalists, a religion to which he adhered throughout his lifetime. He was a descendant of the house of Howard through Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII. Meredith graduated from Hoosac School in 1926 and attended Amherst College, he left Amherst, became a reporter for the Stamford Advocate. In 1942, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II, reaching the rank of captain. After transferring to the Office of War Information, he made training and education films for America's armed forces.
In 1943 he performed in the USAAF's recruiting short The Rear Gunner and the U. S. Army training film A Welcome to Britain for troops heading to the UK in preparation for the liberation of Europe, he was released from duty in 1944 to work on the movie The Story of G. I. Joe, in which he played the war correspondent Ernie Pyle, he was discharged from the USAAF in 1945. In 1929, he became a member of Eva Le Gallienne's Civic Repertory Theatre company in New York City. Although best known to the larger world audience for his film and television work, Meredith was an influential actor and director for the stage, he made his Broadway debut as Peter in Le Gallienne's production of Romeo and Juliet and became a star in Maxwell Anderson's Winterset, which became his film debut the following year. His early life and theatre work were the subject of a New Yorker profile, he garnered critical acclaim in the 1935 Broadway revival of The Barretts of Wimpole Street starring Katharine Cornell. She subsequently cast him in several of her productions.
Other Broadway roles included Van van Dorn in High Tor, Liliom in Liliom, Christy Mahon in The Playboy of the Western World, Adolphus Cusins in Major Barbara. He created the role of Erie Smith in the English-language premiere of Eugene O'Neill's Hughie at the Theater Royal in Bath, England in 1963, he played Hamlet in avant garde radio productions of the play. A distinguished theatre director, he won a Tony Award nomination for his 1974 Broadway staging of Ulysses in Nighttown, a theatrical adaptation of the "Nighttown" section of James Joyce's Ulysses. Meredith shared a Special Tony Award with James Thurber for their collaboration on A Thurber Carnival. In the late seventies, he directed Fionnula Flanagan's one-woman multi-role play James Joyce's Women, which toured for several years. Early in his career, Meredith attracted favorable attention for playing George in a 1939 adaptation of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and as war correspondent Ernie Pyle in The Story of G. I. Joe, he was featured in many 1940s films, including three—Second Chorus, Diary of a Chambermaid, On Our Merry Way — co-starring his then-wife Paulette Goddard.
As a result of the House Committee on Un-American Activities investigation, Meredith was placed on the Hollywood blacklist, was absent from film for the next decade, though he remained involved in stage plays and radio during this time. Meredith was a favorite of director Otto Preminger, who cast him in Advise and Consent, The Cardinal, In Harm's Way, Hurry Sundown and Such Good Friends, he was in Stay Away Joe, appearing as the father of Elvis Presley's character. He was acclaimed by critics for his performance as Harry Greene in The Day of the Locust and received nominations for the BAFTA, Golden Globe, Academy Award for best supporting actor. Meredith played Rocky Balboa's trainer Mickey Goldmill in the first three Rocky films. Though his character died in the third Rocky film, he returned in a flashback in the fifth film, Rocky V, his portrayal in the first film earned him his second consecutive nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Meredith played an old Korean War veteran Captain J. G. Williams in The Last Chase with Lee Majors.
He appeared in Ray Harryhausen's last stop-motion feature Clash of the Titans in a supporting role. M
Vaudeville is a theatrical genre of variety entertainment born in France at the end of the 18th century. A vaudeville was a comedy without psychological or moral intentions, based on a comical situation: a kind of dramatic composition or light poetry, interspersed with songs or ballets, it became popular in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s, but the idea of vaudeville's theatre changed radically from its French antecedent. In some ways analogous to music hall from Victorian Britain, a typical American vaudeville performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill. Types of acts have included popular and classical musicians, dancers, trained animals, ventriloquists, strongmen and male impersonators, illustrated songs, one-act plays or scenes from plays, lecturing celebrities and movies. A vaudeville performer is referred to as a "vaudevillian". Vaudeville developed from many sources including the concert saloon, freak shows, dime museums, literary American burlesque.
Called "the heart of American show business", vaudeville was one of the most popular types of entertainment in North America for several decades. The origin of the term is obscure, but is explained as being derived from the French expression voix de ville. A second speculation is that it comes from the 15th-century songs on satire by poet Olivier Basselin, "Vaux de Vire". In his Connections television series, science historian James Burke argues that the term is a corruption of the French "Vau de Vire", an area known for its bawdy drinking songs and where Basselin lived. Some, preferred the earlier term "variety" to what manager Tony Pastor called its "sissy and Frenchified" successor. Thus, vaudeville was marketed as "variety" well into the 20th century. With its first subtle appearances within the early 1860s, vaudeville was not a common form of entertainment; the form evolved from the concert saloon and variety hall into its mature form throughout the 1870s and 1880s. This more gentle form was known as "Polite Vaudeville".
In the years before the American Civil War, entertainment existed on a different scale. Variety theatre existed before 1860 in Europe and elsewhere. In the US, as early as the first decades of the 19th century, theatregoers could enjoy a performance consisting of Shakespeare plays, singing and comedy; as the years progressed, people seeking diversified amusement found an increasing number of ways to be entertained. Vaudeville was characterized by traveling companies touring through towns. A handful of circuses toured the country. In the 1840s, the minstrel show, another type of variety performance, "the first emanation of a pervasive and purely American mass culture", grew to enormous popularity and formed what Nick Tosches called "the heart of 19th-century show business". A significant influence came from Dutch minstrels and comedians. Medicine shows traveled the countryside offering programs of comedy, music and other novelties along with displays of tonics and miracle elixirs, while "Wild West" shows provided romantic vistas of the disappearing frontier, complete with trick riding and drama.
Vaudeville incorporated these various itinerant amusements into a stable, institutionalized form centered in America's growing urban hubs. In the early 1880s, impresario Tony Pastor, a circus ringmaster turned theatre manager, capitalized on middle class sensibilities and spending power when he began to feature "polite" variety programs in several of his New York City theatres; the usual date given for the "birth" of vaudeville is October 24, 1881 at New York's Fourteenth Street Theatre, when Pastor famously staged the first bill of self-proclaimed "clean" vaudeville in New York City. Hoping to draw a potential audience from female and family-based shopping traffic uptown, Pastor barred the sale of liquor in his theatres, eliminated bawdy material from his shows, offered gifts of coal and hams to attendees. Pastor's experiment proved successful, other managers soon followed suit. B. F. Keith took the next step, starting in Boston, where he built an empire of theatres and brought vaudeville to the US and Canada.
E. F. Albee, adoptive grandfather of the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee, managed the chain to its greatest success. Circuits such as those managed by Keith-Albee provided vaudeville's greatest economic innovation and the principal source of its industrial strength, they enabled a chain of allied vaudeville houses that remedied the chaos of the single-theatre booking system by contracting acts for regional and national tours. These could be lengthened from a few weeks to two years. Albee gave national prominence to vaudeville's trumpeting "polite" entertainment, a commitment to entertainment inoffensive to men and children. Acts that violated this ethos were admonished and threatened with expulsion from the week's remaining performances or were canceled altogether. In spite of such threats, performers flouted this censorship to the delight of the audience members whose sensibilities were supposedly
Francis Wilson (actor)
Francis Wilson was an American actor, born in Philadelphia. He began his career in a minstrel show with Haverly's United Mastodon Minstrels, but by 1878 was playing at the Chestnut Street Theatre and the next year appeared in M'liss with Annie Pixley. After several years in regular comedy, he took up some comic opera, appearing with the McCaull Comic Opera Company and making a great success in Erminie. In 1889, leaving New York's Casino Theatre, he made his appearance as a star in The Oolah. Plays in which he starred subsequently include The Merry Monarch, he appeared in several productions of Rip Van Winkle. He formed his own theatre company in 1899, he was the author of Joseph Jefferson: Reminiscences of a Fellow Player, The Eugene Field I Knew, Francis Wilson's Life of Himself, John Wilkes Booth: Fact and Fiction of Lincoln's Assassination, written with information from his close friend Edwin Booth. Wilson wrote several plays, he was the founding president of the Actors' Equity Association. Wilson's first wife was Mira Barrie with.
Their older daughter was Frances Wilson Huard, who became a French baroness, wrote memoirs of her life in France during World War I. After her death he married Edna Bruns with whom he had daughter. Francis Wilson Playhouse is the successor to the Clearwater Players, organized in 1930 as a community theater which presented productions in ad hoc venues around Clearwater, Florida for several years. In 1935, the first president of Actors Equity, Francis Wilson, a winter resident in Clearwater, convinced a friend, Mary Curtis Bok to contribute $5,000 for the construction of a permanent home for the Clearwater Players. Mrs. Bok agreed to the contribution on the condition that the Theater would be named after Francis Wilson, who at that time was the premier actor of the New York stage; the bronze plaque of Mary Bok over the fireplace in the lobby is the only thanks. The City of Clearwater leased the land the theater sits on for a term of 99 years for the rental sum of $1.00 per year, the theater was built in 1936.
Clapp and Edgett, Players of the Present Kenrick, John. Who's Who in Musicals: Addendum 2003. Retrieved March 17, 2007. FrancisWilsonPlayhouse.org This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gilman, D. C.. "Wilson, Francis". New International Encyclopedia. New York: Dodd, Mead. Francis Wilson at the Internet Broadway Database Francis Wilson at Find a Grave Francis Wilson papers, 1875-1958, held by the Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts