Tammany Young

Tammany Young (September 9, 1886 – April 26, 1936) was an American stage and film actor.

Tammany Young
Young and Thomas Carrigan in Checkers (1919)
Born(1886-09-09)September 9, 1886
DiedApril 26, 1936(1936-04-26) (aged 49)
Years active1911-1936
Spouse(s)May Young (?-1936) (his death)
Gertrude Savage (? - ?)

Early life

Born in New York City, Young appeared on Broadway in The Front Page (1928) by Ben Hecht and The New Yorkers (1930) by Herbert Fields and Cole Porter. He was considered a "good luck actor" by Broadway producers.[1] He was often cast in bit parts by the likes of The Shuberts, Jed Harris and David Belasco to bring luck to their productions.[2] His reputation in the theater business was such that his likeness was drawn in caricature by Alex Gard for Sardi's restaurant. That picture is now part of the collection of the New York Public Library.[3]


In Hollywood, Young started out in silent films and then was cast in talkies. He often played the stooge (straight man) to W.C. Fields, with whom he appeared in seven films: Sally of the Sawdust (1925), Six of a Kind (1934), You're Telling Me! (1934), The Old Fashioned Way (1934), It's a Gift (1934), Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935), and Poppy (1936).


Young also had a reputation as a gate crasher. By claiming to be an ice man, he worked his way into the 1921 DempseyCarpentier prize fight in New Jersey[2] and in 1932 he found his way into the Los Angeles Olympics. His exploits in this regard were written about frequently by sportswriters of the era.[4]


Young died in his sleep in Hollywood, California, at the age of 49. At the news of Young's death, W.C. Fields fell into a depression and stopped eating and sleeping.[4]

Partial filmography

See also


  1. "Rites For Tammany Young; Services to Be Held on Coast for 'Good Luck Actor' Today" The New York Times, April 28, 1936.
  2. “Tammany Young, Actor on Stage and in Films and Gate Crasher Dies” The New York Times, April 27, 1936
  3. The New York Public Library Inventory of Sardi's Caricatures
  4. Curtis, James. W.C. Fields A Biography. New York: A.A. Knopf, 2003.
  • Brantley, Ben. The New York Times Book of Broadway. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2001.
  • Burdick, Loraine. The Shirley Temple Scrapbook'. Middle Village, N.Y.: Jonathan David Publishers, 1975.
  • Curtis, James. W.C. Fields A Biography. New York: A.A. Knopf, 2003.
  • Goldman, Herbert G. Fanny Brice The Original Funny Girl. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
  • Langman, Larry. American Film Cycles The Silent Era. Bibliographies and indexes in the performing arts, no. 22. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1998.
  • Louvish, Simon. Mae West It Ain't No Sin. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin's Griffin, 2007.
  • Louvish, Simon. Man on the Flying Trapeze The Life and Times of W.C. Fields. New York: W.W. Norton, 1999.
  • Mast, Gerald. The Comic Mind; Comedy and the Movies'. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1973.
  • Rhodes, Gary. Lugosi His Life in Films, on Stage, and in the Hearts of Horror Lovers. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 1997.
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