Saturday, January 23, 2010

LESTER ALLEN: We Need More Info!!!

I'm looking for more info on Lester Allen, here's what I have...

He started out as an acrobat with Barnum & Bailey, did burlesque and vaudeville (as a double act with Nellie Breen), spent six years with George White's Scandals and another five with Earl Carroll's Vanities.

He played bit parts in films between 1929 and 1949 and toured with both revues and book musicals.

He was killed by a 25 year old driver in 1949 when he was run down crossing the street to return to work at Bud Abbott's Back Stage Club.

Abbott and Costello organized and headlined the benefit show to help his widow.

As to his actual comedy and performing style? I haven't a clue.

Courtesy of Robert Edwards...


Birth: Nov. 17, 1891
Death: Nov. 6, 1949

Entertainer. Born in Utica, New York, he made his stage debut in 1905 and joined forces with Nellie Breen to create the popular vaudeville comedy duo, Allen & Breen. He enjoyed even greater success as a solo act and was a frequent emcee at New York's Palace Theatre. On Broadway, the dapper, mustachioed Allen was featured in the first six editions of George White's "Scandals" revues (1919 to 1925), and he also wrote the book for Earl Carroll's "Vanities" (1925) and lyrics for the hit musical "Gay Paree" (1925). With the decline of vaudeville in the 1930s he moved to Hollywood and played comic character parts in films, notably as Uncle Capucho in MGM's "The Pirate" (1948) and as Geoduck in "Ma and Pa Kettle" (1949) and "Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town" (1950). His other screen credits include "The Great Flamarion" (1945), "The Dolly Sisters" (1945), "The Dark Mirror" (1946), and "That Lady in Ermine" (1948).

Cause of death: Hit by car


Mike Naughton said...

Don't know if this might be of help...
Tommy Hanneford's mother was a Breen and the family was noted for their juggling.

Gary said...

Here's a link to his page on the Internet Broadway Database: