Oral Histories

Interview of Robert North

Vaudeville performer, comedian, and film producer.
Subtitle:
From Vaudeville to Hollywood
Topic:
Film and Television
Theater
Interviewer:
North, Edmund H., $d 1911-1990
Interviewee:
North, Robert
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Interviewee Retained Copyright
Abstract:
Family background; singing in parks for Joseph W. Stern; first show with Billy Jerome; in vaudeville as a Jewish comedian; joining the Bohemian Burlesquers; playing Los Angeles and San Francisco in 1904; Ziegfeld Follies of 1910 at the New York Theater Roof Garden; Mayor William J. Gaynor attempts to close the theater; on the road with Raymond Hitchcock and Merry-Go-Round; role in David Belasco's Just a Wife; the Metropole Hotel; camaraderie of actors; George M. Cohan's parties on the road; formation of Actors Equity Association; hit song "Get Out and Get Under"; traveling with wife and son; switch from theater to motion picture production; life in Great Neck, Long Island, New York, in the theatrical colony; move to Hollywood; work with Joseph M. Schenck and United Artists; relationship with D. W. Griffith; career with First National Pictures; producer of Dawn Patrol and Kismet; introduction of talkies and effect on silent screen stars; move to Columbia Pictures; casting Jean Arthur in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town; move to Republic Pictures; retirement in 1945; theater today losing out to television, movies, books; lower quality of life today; feelings on show business as a career.