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Newspaper Page Text
WAS BORN IN A THEATER
By Gertrude Mr-Price.
'A real comedian who never
grows old ! He has mastered the
habit of youthfulness by looking
at everything through a smile.
This undictionaried definition
may serve to introduce the per
sonality of Joseph Allen, the
youngest player in the moving
picture world. He is 72 years
In a modest-looking little cot
tage, nestled safely under a big
tree-on the outskirts of Chicago,
I found this interesting human
link between the old and the new,
a living version of the gospel of
For nearly 68 years Joseph Al
len has been making people laugh,
and his stock of fun and good
humor "seems perennially green.
He is round and chubby like a
His hair is white as snow and
the deep shadows in his face only
serve to bring out the gentleness
of his features.
"Joe," as he calls himself, whose
funny characters are nearly al-
ways a part of the Essanay mov
ing pictures, came squealing into
the world a little ahead of sched
ule time in a dressing room of
the Theater Royal, Bristol, Eng
land, Jan. 1, 1840.
"I don't know whether I was
an old-year blessing or a New
Year gift," laughed my new-old
friend as he directly me, with a
courtly bow, to a chair.
"You see, the whistles were
still tooting their heraldry of the
Jast of jthe old and the first of
-BEEN ACTING EVER SINCE
the new when I said, "Good day"
to the funny old world.
"Fortunately, I guess, for me,
the stork hurried me into exist
ence quite unexpectedly while my
mother was attending a play in
which my father was. appearing.
1 And I've been a little ahead of the
game ever since!"
"And have you been acting
Joseph Allen at 73.
ever since, too?" I asked, as he
dabbed his face with a big ban
dana handkerchief in that second
nature fashion actors have to keep
the rouge from rubbing off. But
I was hardly-prepared for the
"Well, yes, pretty nearly that.
I played my first part wh'en I was
three weeks old. My father was
the lessee and leading man of his
own theater. He wanted a baby