Eddie Foy, Jr.

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American actor and engaging showbiz personality who starred in scores of stage and screen musicals.
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b. Edwin Fitzgerald Jnr., 4 February 1905, New Rochelle, New York, USA, d. 15 July 1983, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA. Foy’s showbusiness career began at age five as a member of the vaudeville troupe run by his father, Eddie Foy. Their act, Eddie Foy And The Seven Little Foys, was a huge success and toured extensively. Following the break up of the act in 1923, Foy (Jnr.) began a solo career. In 1929 he was in Florenz Ziegfeld’s Show Girl (1929), proving that he had what it took to survive alone. He then spent several years alternating between stage and screen performances. On film, he played small roles in numerous low-budget productions including Queen Of The Night Clubs (1929), which was directed by his brother, Brian Foy, Leathernecking (1930), and Broadway Through A Keyhole (1933). In Frontier Marshal (1939) and Lillian Russell (1940) he portrayed his father, as he did in 1942’s Yankee Doodle Dandy. Similar fare continued through the 40s and 50s, with Dixie (1943), Wilson (again as his father), And The Angels Sing (both 1944), The Farmer Takes A Wife (1953), and Lucky Me (1954).

Meanwhile, on stage Foy had a starring role in Jerome Kern’s The Cat And The Fiddle (1931) and was in a very successful revival of Victor Herbert’s The Red Mill (1945). He was in The Pajama Game, appearing in both the stage (1954) and screen versions (1957). He played a leading role in the unsuccessful stage production Rumple (1957), had a brief but telling part in the film Bells Are Ringing (1960), and the following year was back on Broadway for Donnybrook! (1961), another show that failed at the box office, and appeared in the film Gidget Goes Hawaiian. In 1968 he had a leading role in Dudley Moore’s movie 30 Is A Dangerous Age, Cynthia. Foy continued working through the 70s, appearing on the big and small screens in many and varied roles. He also appeared on stage although after Donnybrook! there were no more Broadway shows. An engaging personality and showbiz to his bones, Foy brought a whiff of vaudeville nostalgia to new generations of theatregoers and film fans.