Foy, Eddie

Foy, (Edward Fitzgerald) Eddie

(1856–1928) actor, dancer; born in New York City. He started dancing in saloons as a kid to support his family, then added a blackface routine as a teenager for circuses and minstrel shows. On the Western circuit for years, he achieved success in costume fantasies before returning home to Broadway in 1901. In 1903 he was appearing at Chicago's Iroquois Theatre when fire broke out; although he did his best to calm the audience, 602 died in the panic that ensued. Known for his facial expressions and pantomime, he achieved his greatest success with The Seven Little Foys (1910–23), a vaudeville act featuring his seven children.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.