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 John Bunny

John Bunny

Birth
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 26 Apr 1915 (aged 51)
Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Plot Lake Side Section, Lot 407
Memorial ID 4748 · View Source
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Actor. The ninth generation in a long family line of English sea captains, he was the first of those generations who did not choose to follow a maritime career path. He first began working as a grocery store clerk before turning to the career that would make him famous. His first turn in the entertainment industry came when he took part in a small touring minstrel show; after this he started acting in the theatre, primarily in musical comedies. He also served as a stage manager to a number of stock companies. In 1910 he transitioned from stage to motion picture screen acting, a career path that at the time was still considered very disreputable and even scandalous, owing to the poor esteem of motion picture actors. This move from stage to screen also meant his salary decreased, from $150 to $40 a week. However shocking it was at the time for an established actor to quit the legitimate theatre for the relatively new medium of the screen, this move richly paid off. Over the next five years Bunny became the best-known face the world over and was in over 250 comedy shorts. He often co-starred with Flora Finch, who was considered the perfect physical foil for him, as he was short and fat, and she was tall and thin. As a play on the popular studio Biograph, the shorts they made were known as "Bunnygraphs," "Bunnyfinches," and "Bunnyfinchgraphs." Usually they were credited as Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, although off screen he was happily married. However, his wildly successful career suffered a major setback when “John Bunny in Funnyland,” a show he created and took on the road, did abysmal business. Around the same time, he had also become very tired and sick. He spoke to the Vitagraph Motion Picture Company about restarting his career, but nothing came of it. When he died of Bright's Disease at the age of fifty-one, he was mourned the world over and ironically eulogized by the New York Times with the words, "The name John Bunny will always be linked to the movies." Today only a handful of his several hundred films are known to survive, and only two of them, “A Cure for Pokeritis” (1912) and “Her Crowning Glory” (1911) are easily accessible. New York City's Bunny Theatre, after later being renamed the Nova Theatre, closed its doors in 2003.

Bio by: Carrie-Anne


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 18 Mar 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 4748
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Bunny (21 Sep 1863–26 Apr 1915), Find A Grave Memorial no. 4748, citing The Evergreens Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .