William Gaxton

William Gaxton (né Arturo Antonio Gaxiola, December 2, 1893 – February 2, 1963) was a star of vaudeville, film, and theatre.[1] Gaxton was president of The Lambs Club from 1936 to 1939, 1952 to 1953, and 1957 to 1961.[1] He and Victor Moore became a popular theatre team in the 1930s and 1940s; they also appeared in several films and shorts together. Although a fine vocalist, Gaxton's strength was his comic timing, and he often requested songs of his be removed from shows in favor of giving him more time for comedic scenes. An example of this was the removal of "Easy to Love" from Cole Porter's Anything Goes. The song reappeared in the show 53 years later, sung by Howard McGillin in the 1987 Broadway revival.

William Gaxton
William Gaxton in Best Foot Forward trailer.jpg
from the trailer for
Best Foot Forward (1943)
Born
Arturo Antonio Gaxiola

(1893-12-02)December 2, 1893
DiedFebruary 2, 1963(1963-02-02) (aged 69)
New York City, U.S.
OccupationActor
Years active1926–1963

BiographyEdit

Gaxton was born as Arturo Antonio Gaxiola in San Francisco to Cecilia and John Gaxiola. Gaxton served in the U.S. Navy during World War I. He was of Spanish ancestry and a cousin of actor Leo Carrillo.

Gaxton appeared on film and onstage. He debuted on Broadway in the Music Box Revue on October 23, 1922.[1]

On radio Gaxton starred in Broadway Showtime, a 30-minute musical drama that ran on CBS from December 27, 1943 to June 26, 1944.[2]

In 1961 and 1962, he and Arthur Treacher starred in Guy Lombardo's production of the musical Paradise Island at Jones Beach Marine Theater.[3][4]

He died from cancer on February 2, 1963 in Manhattan.[1] He was survived by his wife, Madeline, who was part of the Cameron Sisters dance team.[5]

FilmographyEdit

Gaxton starred in the film version of Fifty Million Frenchmen (1931), as well as The Silent Partner (1931), Their Big Moment (1934), Best Foot Forward (1943), The Heat's On (1943), and Diamond Horseshoe (1945).

BroadwayEdit

 
Constance Carpenter and William Gaxton, principals of the original Broadway production of A Connecticut Yankee, on stage at the Vanderbilt Theatre during a mid-run rehearsal of the hit musical (1928). Producer Lew Fields is seen at right, in shirtsleeves.

He debuted on Broadway in the Music Box Revue on October 23, 1922 and later starred in Rodgers and Hart's A Connecticut Yankee (1927), singing "Thou Swell"; Cole Porter's Fifty Million Frenchmen (1929), singing "You Do Something to Me"; Of Thee I Sing (1931) with Victor Moore; Cole Porter's Anything Goes (1934), with Ethel Merman and Victor Moore; White Horse Inn (1936); Leave It to Me! (1938) with Victor Moore; Louisiana Purchase (1940); and Hollywood Pinafore (1945).

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Gaxton Dies At 69; Star On Broadway". New York Times. February 4, 1963. Retrieved 2015-03-02. William Gaxton, star of many Broadway musical comedies, died of cancer on Saturday in St. Vincent's Hospital. He was 69 years old and lived in Stamford, Conn. His best-remembered role was as President John P. Wintergreen in the musical, "Of Thee I Sing."
  2. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 121-122. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved 2019-10-02. Broadway Showtime, musical drama.
  3. ^ "Theater: Straw Hat Shows – Marine Theater, Jones Beach, LI". Life. June 16, 1961. p. 23.
  4. ^ Jones Beach Lifeguard Corps. "Forum pages". JBLC.net.
  5. ^ "William Gaxton, Broadway Star, Rites Tomorrow". Santa Cruz Sentinel. February 5, 1963. Retrieved September 18, 2021.

External linksEdit