Friday, December 20, 2013

Eddie Foy

TCM is showing The Seven Little Foys tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM, starring Bob Hope as the patriarch of the Foy family, a family of vaudevillian performers, more or less. Eddie Foy Sr. was an accomplished performer; the kids not so much at least according to the movie. But they only wind up in the act because Mom dies and Dad wants the kids around him lest he lose custody of them to his sister-in-law.

There is one chance to see the kids as they really were, in the 1928 short Chips of the Old Block. It's following The Seven Little Foys on TCM at 7:34 AM tomorrow, and is also available on Youtube, although it's technically not in the public domain as far as I know.

Eddie Foy, Jr. actually went on to have some success as an actor. I personally would remember him best for having played Gabby, the sidekick to Ronald Reagan's Brass Bancroft, in the four Brass Bancroft movies. Eddie Jr. actually played his father three or four times on screen. Foy was part friend, part rival of George M. Cohan, so it's unsurprising that he shows up as a character in Yankee Doodle Dandy, and it's not surprising that Cohan shows up in The Seven Little Foys -- played by James Cagney, no less! Foy the character also appears in Wilson: I don't remember the scene, although there are a couple of scenes where the Wilsons go to the theater, and I'd presume it's in one of these that Foy shows up on stage. There's also the Lilian Hellman biopic, but that's one I haven't seen at all and can't comment on.

The Seven Little Foys did get a DVD release at one point, but as a standalone and as part of a Bob Hope collection, but both seem to be out of print.

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