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Enters, Angna (28 April 1897–25 February 1989), dance-mime, painter, and writer, was born Anita Irene Enters in New York City, the daughter of Edward Enters, a businessman, and Henriette Gasseur-Styleau. Angna grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (which she called “New Berlin” because of its large German population), where after graduating with the class of 1915 from North Division High School, she enrolled as an art student at Milwaukee Normal School (now part of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)....

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Fox, George Washington Lafayette (03 July 1825–24 October 1877), actor and pantomimist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of George Howe Fox, a stage carpenter at the Tremont Theatre, and Emily Cecilia Wyatt. “Laff,” as the boy was known, and his four younger siblings were employed as child actors at the Tremont, National, and Federal theaters. Sources indicate that Laff’s debut occurred at age five in William Dimond’s ...

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Jackson, Joe (1880?–14 May 1942), pantomimist, was born Josef Francis Jiranek in Vienna, Austria, the son of a grocer. His parents’ names are unknown. As a boy he was an avid cyclist and became a champion racer and virtuoso rider in his country. As a teenager he joined a bicycle polo team that toured Europe. Around the turn of the century, Jackson’s team met with financial difficulties in London and disbanded. Jackson then landed a job in a circus as a dashing trick rider, but his “straight” act was not particularly popular. The circus was booked into London’s Crystal Palace when one of the clowns suggested that Jackson enliven his act by adding makeup. He painted Jackson as a clown, and that was the genesis of Jackson’s persona as a bicycle tramp. Jackson was not an immediate favorite, however. Publicity stories have it that Jackson’s comic material was introduced by accident one night when the handlebars came off his bike and he waved them in wild despair at the audience, creating a roar of laughter. On closer examination, however, it appears that Jackson, an expert trick rider with a brain for inventions and later several patents to his credit, was more calculating than that. Evidence suggests that he slowly began testing and accruing comic elements in his act, until his mere appearance made the audience convulse, and he became one of the most renowned figures on the vaudeville circuit worldwide....

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Schoop, Trudi (09 October 1903–14 July 1999), mime and dance and movement therapist, was born Gertrude Schoop in Zurich, Switzerland, the daughter of Friedrich Maximilian Schoop, a newspaper editor and president of Dolder Hotels, and Emma Olga Böppli Schoop, a freethinker who was uninterested in the conventions of the time. All three of Schoop's siblings were artistic. Max became a painter, Paul later wrote the scores for Trudi's dances, and Hedi was a dancer, actress, ceramist, and painter. Their home was always open to artists and intellectuals. Trudi, brought up in this free-wheeling environment, suffered mightily the rigidity of school in Zurich....