American Vaudeville Museum

All material 1998-2012 American Museum of Vaudeville, Inc. Page 40

Joan Davis

1907 1961

She was one of the most gifted comedians, male or female in America and became the highest paid woman in network radio. There were probably only two or three male comedians that were as adept physically as Joan Davis. She also handled lines with aplomb.

She had a tough climb up the ladder through the wreckage of vaudeville before she went to Hollywood and won a contract. Most of her movies were quick; not bad, not very good, but quickly made to feed the demand for comedies during the years of the Depression and Second World War. When television became feasible, Joan David moved into it with I Married Joan, a show distinguished only by Joan and certainly not by its writers. Joan died very unexpectedly at age 53. Her family suffered a tragic end.