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Jack Buchanan

Jack Buchanan, early to mid 20th century, black and white photograph

Jack Buchanan, early to mid 20th century, black and white photograph

Walter John 'Jack' Buchanan (1891–1957) was the major British musical stage and screen star of his day. He appeared in a series of musical comedies many of which were later made into films. He first went into management in 1922 producing and starring in 'Battling Butler'. In the mid 1920s, he also starred in New York productions of Charlot revues.

In 1926 Buchanan teamed up with Elsie Randolph in 'Sunny'. She was a comedienne and their stage partnership was rooted in romantic comedy, but to their public they were a romantic couple (both on and off stage). For the next ten years they starred together in a string of successes, including 'That’s a Good Girl' (in which Elsie played a female detective), 'Stand Up and Sing' and 'Mr Whittington' (an updated version of the Dick Whittington legend). In 1933 Buchanan built the Leicester Square theatre where the Odeon cinema now stands.

Buchanan remained popular on stage and film throughout the 1940s and early 1950s. In 1951 he had the unenviable task of taking over the lead in 'King’s Rhapsody' after Ivor Novello died and in 1953 he made
his best film, 'The Band Wagon', with Fred Astaire.

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