Eddie Foy III

Legacy: The Foy Legacy dates back to the days before Vaudeville. Eddie’s grandfather, Edwin Fitzgerald, was the patriarch of the celebrated Vaudeville Act: Eddie Foy and the Seven Little Foys. Edwin also founded Actors' Equity Association with John Barrymore.

The story continued in size and scope when Eddie Jr. (Eddie’s father) became one of the all time great Broadway comedians, celebrities, and performers of his era for years.

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Links:

Eddie Foy, Sr. on Wikipedia

Eddie Foy, Jr. on Internet Movie Database

Bio of Eddie Foy, Jr. on allmovie.com

"The Seven Little Foys" movie on answers.com

Two early marriages of Eddie Foy, Sr. ended without children, but Foy and his third wife, Madeline, had eleven. Seven survived childhood, but when Madeline died in 1918 Foy had little choice but to take them on the road with him. They developed an act which became famous as “Eddie Foy and The Seven Little Foys.” The children (Eddie Jr. [1905-1983], later a well-known Broadway and film actor in his own right, Bryan [1896-1977], Charley [1898-1984], Mary [1901-1987], Madeline [1903-1988], Irving [1908-2003], and Richard [1905-1947]) soon grew into seasoned performers.

The family’s story was filmed in 1955 as The Seven Little Foys, with Bob Hope as Eddie Sr. and James Cagney as George M. Cohan; Charley Foy narrated. Eddie Foy Jr. appeared as his father in several films: Frontier Marshal (1939), Lillian Russell (1940), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Wilson (1944), as well as a television version of The Seven Little Foys with Mickey Rooney (1964).

Eddie Foy, Sr. was a co-founder (along with Harry Davenport) of what would later become known as Actors' Equity Association. The original organization, known as The White Rats, united in their opposition to the treatment of actors by the likes of the Shubert brothers, David Belasco, and others, and refused to appear on stage by striking. Their actions resulted in the closing of all of the Broadway theaters, with the exception of George M. Cohan and his company. In answer to the actors' strike, the Broadway producers were forced to give in to such demands as plumbing in the dressing rooms, a six-day work week, and other such necessities that were considered outrageous by the theatrical owners and producers. Were it not for this hard work, the plight of American actors and their atrocious work conditions might well have continued for decades.

Eddie Foy III