Joseph Cawthorn

Joseph Cawthorn

  • Highest Rated: 100% Love Me Tonight (1932)
  • Lowest Rated: 50% Naughty Marietta (1935)
  • Birthday: Invalid date
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • Joseph Cawthorn launched his seven-decade show business career at age four as a performer in "variety" revues (the precursor to American vaudeville). At age five, Cawthorn was appearing in minstrel shows, and at seven he moved to England, where he became a successful child performer. Back in America, he toured in vaudeville as a "Dutch" comic, fracturing audiences with his Yiddish dialect and hyperkinetic gestures. He first appeared on Broadway in the 1895 musical Excelsior Jr; two years later he got his biggest break when he replaced William Collier as principal comedian in Miss Philadelphia (1897). A popular Broadway attraction for the next 25 years, Cawthorn starred or co-starred in such tuneful extravaganzas as Victor Herbert's The Fortune Teller (1898), Mother Goose (1903, in the title role!), Little Nemo (1910), The Sunshine Girl (1913), The Girl From Utah (1914) and Rudy Friml' s The Blue Kitten (1922). By the time he appeared in the 1925 Marilyn Miller vehicle Sally, however, Cawthorn was being written off as a "fading star. Rather than stubbornly cling to his Broadway fame, Cawthorn moved to Hollywood in 1927, where he began a whole new career as a movie character actor. He revived his old dialect routines as Cornelius Van Horn in Dixiana (1930) and Joe Bruno in Peach o' Reno; both of these films starred Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey, who'd known Cawthorn "way back when" in New York (Woolsey in fact had supported Cawthorn in The Blue Kitten). Not always confined to "Dutch" roles, he was effectively cast as Shakespearean suitor Gremio in the Mary Pickford/Doug Fairbanks version of Taming of the Shrew(1929) and as a French physician in Lubitsch's Love Me Tonight (1932). Nor was he limited to comedy parts: he was most persuasive in the largely serious role of Dr. Bruner, the "Van Helsing" counterpart in Bela Lugosi's White Zombie (1932). Because of his celebrated Broadway past, Cawthorn was often cast in period "backstage" musicals, essaying such roles as the title character's father in The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and Leopold Damrosch in Lillian Russell (1940). Joseph Cawthorn died peacefully at his Beverly Hills home in 1949. His wife, actress Queenie Vassar, lived until 1960.

Highest Rated Movies








No Score Yet So Ends Our Night Potzloch 1941
No Score Yet Lillian Russell Leopold Damrosch 1940
No Score Yet Brides Are Like That Fred Schultz 1936
No Score Yet Freshman Love Wilson, Sr. 1936
62% The Great Ziegfeld Dr. Ziegfeld 1936
No Score Yet Crime Over London Sherwood/Riley 1936
No Score Yet One Rainy Afternoon M. Pelerin 1936
No Score Yet Page Miss Glory Mr. Freischultz 1935
No Score Yet Bright Lights Otto Schlemmer 1935
No Score Yet Sweet Music Sidney Selzer 1935
50% Naughty Marietta Herr Schuman 1935
No Score Yet Harmony Lane Kleber 1935
No Score Yet Sweet Adeline Oscar Schmidt 1935
No Score Yet Music in the Air Hans Uppman, Orchestra Conductor 1934
No Score Yet Housewife Kruger 1934
No Score Yet A Very Honorable Guy Actor 1934
No Score Yet Twenty Million Sweethearts Herbert Brockman 1934
No Score Yet The Last Gentleman Dr. Wilson 1934
No Score Yet The Cat and the Fiddle Rudy 1934
No Score Yet Grand Slam Alex 1933
No Score Yet Blondie Johnson Jewelry Store Manager 1933
No Score Yet Broken Dreams Pop 1933
100% Love Me Tonight Dr. Armand de Fontinac 1932
90% White Zombie Dr. Bruner 1932
No Score Yet They Call It Sin Mr. Hollister 1932
No Score Yet Peach-O-Reno Joe Bruno 1931
No Score Yet Princess and the Plumber Merkl 1930
No Score Yet Dixiana Cornelius Van Horn 1930
No Score Yet Jazz Heaven Herman Kemple 1929
No Score Yet The Taming of the Shrew Gremio 1929
No Score Yet Street Girl Keppel 1929
No Score Yet Speakeasy Yokel 1929


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