March 13, 1952: Hugh Herbert dies at the age of 66.
Note: This is an encore post from 2011.
Per an ad in the July 27, 1937, Daily Variety, “Public Screwball No. 1 to the film audiences of the world is a rubber-faced flibber-jibbett who began his career in talking pictures 30 years ago, wrote the first all-talking picture nine years ago, won fame as Broadway’s only Scotch-Irish Jewish comedian, and is named Hugh Herbert.”
Born 1888 in Binghamton, N.Y., Herbert worked as a newsboy, messenger and tailor’s boy to help make ends meet for his family, before becoming usher and assistant prop master at Proctor’s 125th St. Theatre in Harlem. He made his stage debut as a boy in the melodrama “Blue Jeans,” working in a saw mill. He told the Los Angeles Times in a Sept. 18, 1938, story that “…I had to take bows as I picked up boards. That taste of applause made me an actor. You never get over applause, never get over it. Gets in your blood, your ears, or something.”