Joseph Cawthorn

Joseph Cawthorn

  • Born on
    • March 29th, 1868
  • Died on
    • January 21st, 1949
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Joseph Cawthorn (March 29, 1868, New York City, New York – January 21, 1949, Beverly Hills, California) was an American stage and film comic actor. Cawthorn started out in show business as a child, debuting at Robinson's Music Hall in his hometown of New York in 1872. He appeared in minstrel shows and vaudeville as a "Dutch" comic, employing a thick German dialect. He later worked in British music halls and American touring companies. Cawthorn made his Broadway debut in 1895, 1897 or 1898, and embarked on a long career lasting over two decades. His first success was playing Boris in Victor Herbert's 1898 operetta The Fortune Teller. Other notable Broadway roles included the title character in Mother Goose (1903) and inventor Dr. Pill in the fantasy musical Little Nemo (1908). In the latter, he was called upon to ad lib to buy time during one performance. As "the scene called for him to describe imaginary animals he had hunted", he invented the "whiffenpoof" on the spot. Yale students in the audience appropriated it for the name of their glee club. When his Broadway stardom waned, Cawthorn moved to Hollywood in 1927 and started a second prolific career, appearing in over 50 films, the last in 1942. He played Gremio in the first sound adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew in 1929, starring Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks; Schultz in Gold Diggers of 1935; and Florenz Ziegfeld's father in The Great Ziegfeld (1936). Cawthorn died peacefully on January 21, 1949. He was survived by his wife, actress Queenie Vassar.

Starring Joseph Cawthorn on Plex


Acting (11 Credits)

1936The Great Ziegfeld as Dr. Ziegfeld
1935Naughty Marietta as Herr 'Schumie' Schuman
1935Gold Diggers of 1935 as August Schultz
1935Page Miss Glory as Mr. Freischutz
1934Music in the Air as Hans Uppman
1934Housewife as Krueger (as Joe Cawthorne)
1933Blondie Johnson as Manager
1932White Zombie as Dr. Bruner
1932They Call It Sin as Mr. Hollister
1932Love Me Tonight as Dr. Armand de Fontinac
1929The Taming of the Shrew as Gremio

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