Charles T. Aldrich (1869-1955)

Charles T. Aldrich was born in Cleveland Ohio in 1869.

He began his career in vaudeville performing as a comedian in a routine where he was chased around the stage by a dancing red handkerchief.

Aldrich was one of the first magicians to introduce a spiritualistic theme to the Dancing Handkerchief illusion and present it as a comedy act.

He also created a quick change routine where his clothes would instantly transform into a peddler's costume.

At one point in his early career, Aldrich , influenced by magician Ching Ling Foo, impersonated a Chinese conjuror where he produced a barrel from beneath his gown.

In 1901, he began a career in acting. He acted in several films, including "The Girl From Up There" in 1901, and "The Toy Maker" in 1915.

Aldrich's wife, Gloria Gordon, also established an acting career and was best known for her portrayal of Mrs. O'Reilly on radio's "My Friend Irma."

His son, Gale Gordon, followed in his parents footsteps and was best known for his role as "Mr. Mooney," Lucille's Ball's boss on "The Lucy Show," and Dennis the Menace next-door neighbor.

Aldrich toured Europe before the start of the first World War. In 1912, he was a star of the First Royal Command Variety Performance at the Palace Theatre in England.

In his late 50's, Aldrich scaled down his performances to two shows a day. He revamped his signature Dancing Handkerchief act, incorporating a multitude of mischievous silks, dancing, hopping and chasing him around.

Aldrich retired to rural New Jersey where he died at 86.

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