Eddie Foy Sr.

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Eddie Foy Sr.

Original Name Edwin Fitzgerald
Greenwich Village, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 16 Feb 1928 (aged 71)
Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA
Burial New Rochelle, Westchester County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 361 · View Source
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Vaudevillian. Born Edwin Fitzgerald in New York City, son of Irish immigrants Richard and Mary Fitzgerald. After the death of his father in 1862, the family moved to Chicago. As a child he worked as a bootblack and newsboy before he tried a song and dance act in local saloons at age 15. He changed his name to Foy, and often with a partner, made the circuit of small theatres from coast to coast, trying his hand at everything from singing; dancing, clogging, performing in drag; impressions; acting, and acrobatics. Popular in the west, he could only claim star status if he was a name on the east coast. He joined the Carncross Minstrels of Philadelphia for two seasons to launch his east coast aspirations. Eventually, he rose from playing bit parts in the 1880s to starring in lavish musicals by the 1890s such as “Sinbad”(1891), “Ali Baba” (1892), and in 1896 “Little Robinson Crusoe.” That year, he married Madeline Morando, a dancer, and the couple had eleven children, of whom seven would survive. He continued to play the lead in a series of musical comedies in New York including “The Strollers” (1901), “The Wild Rose” (1902), “Mr. Bluebeard” (1903), “Piff! Paff! Pouf!” (1904), “Mr Hamlet of Broadway” (1908), “Up and Down Broadway” (1910), and “Over the River” (1912). In 1912, when his youngest child turned four, and he 57, he debuted an act he'd been thinking of for some time. “Fun With the Foy Family” opened at the New Brighton Theatre, Long Island; the children would sing songs and do impressions, while their father made jokes. The vaudeville act of The Seven Little Foys remained a headliner draw for five years, until the eldest, Bryan, enlisted in 1918. That same year, Madeline Foy died. Eddie, who was then 62, began to phase himself out out of the act, and retired in 1923. He did, however, return to star in the Broadway comedy “The Fallen Star” in 1927. He succumbed to heart failure while on tour with the show at age 71. His story was made into a motion picture, “The Seven Little Foys,” in 1955, in which Bob Hope played Eddie. His dance shoes are today on display at the Library of Congress.

Bio by: Iola

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 361
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Eddie Foy Sr. (9 Mar 1856–16 Feb 1928), Find a Grave Memorial no. 361, citing Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, New Rochelle, Westchester County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .