About this actor
Julius Tannen (16 May 1880–3 January 1965) was a comedian – or monologist, as those of his era were known – who had a long and successful career in vaudeville. He was known to stage audiences (and respected by other monologists) for his witty improvisations and creative word games. He had a successful career as a character actor in films, appearing in over 50 films in his 25-year film career. He is best known to film audiences from the musical Singin' in the Rain, in which he appears as the man demonstrating a talking picture early in the film. Tannen was born in 1880, and never intended to become a performer. As a young man, he was a salesman whose pitch was so good that he began to get offers to entertain at parties. He made his professional vaudeville debut at the age of 21, and soon developed into a monologist, the predecessor to today's stand up comic. He would frequently end his routines before the payoff of the story, allowing the audience to complete it for themselves, and...