Trixie Friganza
Actor
Trixie Friganza
Trixie Friganza, born Delia O’Callaghan, began her career as an operetta soubrette, working her way from the chorus to starring in musical comedies to having her own feature act on the vaudeville circuit. She transitioned to film in the early 1920s mostly playing small characters that were quirky and comedic and retired from the stage in 1940 due to health concerns.
Biography
Trixie Friganza's personal information overview.
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Movieland Mystery Photo - Los Angeles Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
And they proved to be a wonderful history lesson for me: Trixie Friganza … Jack Mulhall … Julian Eltinge … Pier Angeli. I had an agenda with these pictures, though I don't think anyone ever realized what I was up to. Most people saw the pictures as
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Past on Parade: Pasadena's vaudeville star - Pasadena Star-News
Google News - almost 6 years
Trixie Friganza seems to be performing in an Auto Club promotion. Born Delia O'Callaghan in Kansas, she had a long stage and vaudeville career in musical comedy. Trixie's later years were spent at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy atop the Linda Vista
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A Century Later, She's Still Red Hot
NYTimes - over 7 years
HAS any pop star had as many nicknames as Sophie Tucker? In a career that spanned seven decades, Tucker was variously billed as ''The Empress of Songs,'' ''The Syncopated Cyclone'' and ''Our Lady Nicotine''; as ''Iron Lungs,'' ''Muscle Dancer'' and ''Vaudeville's Pet''; as ''The Ginger Girl,'' ''The Grizzly Bear Girl'' and ''The Girl Who Never
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NYTimes article
SCREEN GRAB; Web Is a New Stage for Vaudeville
NYTimes - over 16 years
SOME say vaudeville originated from drinking songs in France in the Valley of the Vire (Vau de Vire) and later became ''street voices'' (voix de ville). It was marinated in American barrooms and British music halls, and at its height in the 1920's, an estimated two million people a day watched it in perhaps 2,000 American theaters (topped, of
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NYTimes article
COVER STORY; It's Back From the Wings: Vaudeville, Good and Bad
NYTimes - over 19 years
HURTLING into the 21st century, Americans like to think that they have more entertainment choices than any people in human history. A world-dominating film industry churns out hundreds of motion pictures every year. Cable channels too numerous to count operate around the clock to satisfy every possible whim. So where's the singing-duck act? From
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NYTimes article
PANEL WEIGHS DESIGNATING THEATER AS LANDMARK
NYTimes - over 29 years
LEAD: Broadway's Palace Theater, whose name was long synonymous with the best of vaudeville, may become New York City's newest landmark as the Landmarks Preservation Commission resumes voting on the past and future of the theater district. Broadway's Palace Theater, whose name was long synonymous with the best of vaudeville, may become New York
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NYTimes article
Long Islanders; A PIONEER PILOT CLEARS SOME CLOUDS
NYTimes - over 35 years
TO talk to Elinor Smith is to turn back the clock and visit a Long Island in the days of aviation's infancy. It is a Long Island of places like Hazelhurst Field, which became Curtiss Field and Roosevelt Field; of planes like the Farman Pusher, the Jenny and the Waco 9, of pilots in goggles and leather jackets, with names like Bert Acosta, Red
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Trixie Friganza
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1955
    Age 84
    Despite her popularity, theatrical achievements and astounding record of stage and cinematic productions, which rivaled male comic greats such as Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, she died in relative obscurity in Flintridge at the age of 84 on February 27, 1955.
    More Details Hide Details She bequeathed all her possessions to the Academy and left a legacy to the American public. Trixie toured with many theatre companies in the coming years working her way from roles in the chorus to more prominently featured roles with speaking parts. Part of her success can be attributed to her constant willingness to step in and take over roles when others fell ill or could not appear. These instances provided her an opportunity to demonstrate her ability and ingenuity. She impressed agents, audiences and other actors alike with her stellar singing voice and ability to command audiences with her humorous interpretation of characters. She worked mainly with musical comedies, however, she did perform in a few dramatic productions, opting to return to comedic performance relatively soon thereafter. Below is a list in chronological order of the productions with which she was involved. Supplementary information (roles; theatre company; additional cast members; theatre technicians; directors; producers; personal statements or experiences), when available, is provided. (dates placed in italics are guesstimated based on the chronology of her performances, meaning the performance likely took place in that year but research did not provide a hard date to confirm this)
  • 1940
    Age 69
    In 1940 she turned over all of her assets and money to the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, a convent and school in La Canada Flintridge, California.
    More Details Hide Details She taught drama there as long as she could until her health prevented her from doing so. She reportedly had a room in the institution that overlooked the city of Pasadena where every year she would watch the football games at the Rose Bowl stadium. At the age of 79, in an interview with the L.A. Times, she confessed to enjoying watching TV a great deal saying, “that’s where vaudeville has gone –into television” (Slide, Encyclopedia… pg. 199). She correctly identified the many comic and dramatic tropes borrowed from the stage and incorporated into American cinema and television.
    Trixie Friganza suffered from arthritis beginning in the 1930s and because of it by 1940 could no longer work in Hollywood or on stage.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1914
    Age 43
    She filed for a divorce in the summer of 1914 on the grounds of “failure to provide” and “cruelty”.
    More Details Hide Details Records do not indicate that she was ever married again. During all of her marriages she never changed her name and was adamant about continuing her career in show business. None of the relationships yielded any children for her.
  • 1912
    Age 41
    Her third marriage, taking place in New York on March 10, 1912, was to her manager, Charles A. Goettler.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1909
    Age 38
    On August 20, 1909, tabloids reported that Trixie was to be engaged to Nat M. Wills, but nothing more was said of this and she did not in fact marry the man.
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  • 1905
    Age 34
    Trixie Friganza easily made the transition from musical comedy to vaudeville though her first vaudeville appearance is a contested matter. The newspaper, Brooklyn Eagle claims that her debut was at Keeney’s Theatre, May 6, 1905, whereas the Encyclopedia of Vaudeville lists her first appearance at the Hammerstein’s Theatre in New York City, in the summer of 1906.
    More Details Hide Details Regardless, from that time forward she shuttled back and forth between the theatre and the vaudeville stage until 1912–1913 when she began working primarily within the vaudeville circuit. Her fame as a comic actress buoyed her success and she soon became a headliner, given top billing in the shows. During her career she appeared at B. F. Keith’s Palace Theatre in New York no fewer than ten times, headlining five times from April 1924 through April 1929. Records from the Theatre documented performers’ success by rating their reception, applause, counting the number of laughs received and how they finished. Records from appearances during the week ending April 28, 1918 indicate that the audience’s response to Trixie Friganza was huge, where she elicited a total of 29 laughs, second only to Charlie Chaplin’s motion picture A Dog's Life. In 1919, she toured with an act called “At a Block Party,” which featured songs and witty repartee representative of an actual city block party. Frederick James Smith, writing for the Dramatic Mirror (February 8, 1919) called her show “a vigorous comedy act” (Slide, Selected Vaudeville Criticism, pg. 88). During one appearance at the Palace, Variety Magazine called her act, “My Little Bag O’ Trix,” “a riotous hit” (March, 1920). Other one-woman shows included the “Trixie Friganza Road Show” (1921) and numerous others that she performed untitled.
  • 1901
    Age 30
    Her second marriage, which took place during the summer of 1901, was to a Dr. Barry, the physician hired aboard the steamship Bohemian, upon which the cast sailed from Boston.
    More Details Hide Details The wedding was held at Stermin’s Hotel and those in attendance were fellow actors and cast members of Belle of Bohemia. She and the Doctor were divorced several years later, though the exact date is unknown.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1899
    Age 28
    Her first marriage was to an unknown man in the late 1890s and newspapers reported that she was divorced from this “John Doe” in September 1899.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1870
    Born
    Born on November 29, 1870.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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