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David Warfield: c. 1897

Character actor David Warfield dressed as a tramp. Photograph by B.J. Falk, c. 1897. View full size.

Character actor David Warfield dressed as a tramp. Photograph by B.J. Falk, c. 1897. View full size.

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It IS Shylock!

I followed kingjack2000's link to Wikipedia, which led me to Warfield's grave, which had an article that ended like this:

His [Warfield's] one classical role was as Shylock, in "The Merchant of Venice" (1923). He would turn down offers to work in the new medium of films, and successfully invested his earnings in real estate with famed theater owner Marcus Loew, becoming one of the few stage actors to become a millionaire. He would often remark that his success as a character actor was due to the fact that "people want to weep sweetly." (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)

Yes, it's a "Jew" stereotype.

Follow the link below if you want to see what the actor truly looked like. Then the "Jew" getup (with the obviously false hooked nose)will be more obvious.


I never knew that about Groucho and Harpo, Chico had the fake accent, which wasnt too bad, I would never have thought about this guy being "Jewish". Thanks for the information UncaDave.

Thanks, UncaDave...

...because the first time I saw this pic, I thought it looked like an actor dressed as a tramp trying to play The Merchant of Venice. (Sometimes I'm so thankful we don't live in the "good" old days.)

thanx for the info !!

I never new it

Not a tramp...

...the guy is made up like a Jew. Seriously. Back in the day, in the same way entertainers would put on blackface to parody Black people, there was a standard vaudeville "Jew" get-up, with a greasepaint beard, over-sized derby hat, long gabardine coat. In fact, the three Marx brothers' characters are variations on standard theatrical ethnic types; Groucho is the Jew, Chico is the Italian, and Harpo, with his red wig, started out playing a tough Irish guy.

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