$24.99


This is an ORIGINAL black & white Photograph measuring 8" x 10" with PARTIAL Original PRESS SNIPE Still ATTACHED TO THE BACK of the Photo. It is a RARE vintage photo all ORIGINAL direct from the Hal Roach Studios, Hollywood California!

IT IS OVER 80 YEARS OLD!!! I has YELLOWED with age.

This photograph features BILY GILBERT and BEN BLUE from the TAXI BOYS series. It was to promote th 1933 Hal Roach Comedy film short,

Thundering Taxis

Directors: Del Lord & Gus Meins

The entire cast included:

Ben Blue ... Ben
Billy Gilbert ... Billy
Clyde Cook ... One of the Boys
Billy Bevan ... One of the Boys
Blackie Whiteford ... Boss of Blacker Cab Company
Muriel Evans ... Mrs. Blacker
William Gillespie ... Salesman
Al Thompson ... Traffic Cop
Bud Jamison ... Boss of Black & Blue Cab Company

Its a great publicity photo of the two actors, Slight yellowing and a crease on top with age and curls, but a rare photograph!

Shop with confidence! This is part of our in-store inventory from our shop which is has been located in the heart of Hollywood where we have been in business for OVER 40 years!

MORE INFO ON BILLY GILBERT: William "Billy" Gilbert (Born William Gilbert Barron; September 12, 1894 – September 23, 1971) was an American comedian and actor known for his comic sneeze routines. He appeared in over 200 feature films, short subjects and television shows starting in 1929.

Born in Kentucky, the child of singers with the Metropolitan Opera, he was born in a dressing room at the Hopkins Opera House in Louisville, Kentucky. Gilbert began working in vaudeville at the age of 12.

Gilbert was spotted by Stan Laurel, who was in the audience of Gilbert's show Sensations of 1929. Laurel went backstage to meet Gilbert and was so impressed by him he introduced him to comedy producer Hal Roach. Gilbert was employed as a gag writer, actor and director, and at the age of 35 he appeared in his first film for the Fox Film Corporation in 1929.

Gilbert broke into comedy short subjects with the Vitaphone studio in 1930 – he appears without billing in the Joe Frisco comedy The Happy Hottentots, recently restored and released on DVD. Gilbert's burly frame and gruff voice made him a good comic villain, and within the year he was working consistently for producer Roach. He appeared in support of Roach's comedy stars Laurel and Hardy, Charley Chase, Thelma Todd, and Our Gang. One of his Laurel and Hardy appearances was the 1932 Academy Award-winning featurette "The Music Box". Gilbert generally played blustery tough guys in the Roach comedies, but could play other comic characters, from fey couturiers to pompous radio announcers to roaring drunks. Gilbert's skill at dialects prompted Roach to give him his own series: big Billy Gilbert teamed with little Billy Bletcher as the Dutch-comic "Schmaltz Brothers." in offbeat musical shorts like "Rhapsody in Brew". Gilbert also directed these.

Like many other Roach contractees, Gilbert found similar work at other studios. He appears in the early comedies of the Three Stooges at Columbia Pictures, as well as in RKO short subjects. These led to featured roles in full-length films, so that from 1934 on Gilbert became one of the screen's most familiar faces.

One of his standard routines had Gilbert progressively getting excited or nervous about something, and his speech would break down into facial spasms, culminating in a big, loud sneeze. He used this bit so frequently that Walt Disney thought of him immediately when casting the voice of Sneezy in 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Gilbert and Disney would later work together again in Mickey and the Beanstalk, with Gilbert voicing Willie the Giant in a very similar way to Sneezy. Gilbert did the sneeze routine in a memorable cameo in the Paramount comedy Million Dollar Legs (1932) starring W.C. Fields, Jack Oakie, Susan Fleming, and Ben Turpin.

Gilbert is prominent in most of the movies he appeared in. He appeared as "Herring" - a parody of Nazi official Hermann Göring - the minister of war in Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator. He danced with Alice Faye and Betty Grable in Tin Pan Alley; he stole scenes as a dim-witted process server in the fast-paced comedy His Girl Friday; playing an Italian character, he played opposite singer Gloria Jean in The Under-Pup and A Little Bit of Heaven. All choice Gilbert roles, and all filmed the same year (1940), which indicates how prolific and talented Billy Gilbert was. He was also the soda server to Freddie Bartholomew in Captains Courageous. He was featured prominently in the 1940 John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich film Seven Sinners.

Gilbert seldom starred in movies but did have occasional opportunities to play leads. In 1943 he headlined a brief series of two-reel comedies for Columbia Pictures. That same year Monogram Pictures teamed him with the urbane stage comedian Frank Fay for a comedy series; Fay left the series after the first entry, and was replaced by a more appropriate foil, fellow vaudeville veteran Shemp Howard, who had been the original third member of the Three Stooges before leaving to pursue a solo career, and being replaced by his brother Curly.

In the 1950s, Gilbert worked in television, including a memorable pantomime sketch with Buster Keaton. He appeared regularly on the children's program Andy's Gang with Andy Devine. He retired from the screen in 1962, following his appearance in the feature Five Weeks in a Balloon.

After an unhappy first marriage, Gilbert married Ella McKenzie in 1938. She had appeared as an ingenue in short-subject comedies. Fellow film comedian Charley Chase was the best man. In late 1943, Gilbert appeared with his wife in a USO show, entertaining the US Marines stationed in Derry, Northern Ireland.

Gilbert died in the hospital after suffering a stroke at the age of 77. He was cremated and his ashes scattered within the rose gardens of the Odd Fellows Cemetery, in Los Angeles. A plaque of remembrance was erected in his name nearby.

For his contributions to the motion picture industry, Billy Gilbert has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6263 Hollywood Boulevard, at Vine Street on the northeast corner.

MORE INFO ON BEN BLUE: Ben Blue (September 12, 1901 – March 7, 1975), born Benjamin Bernstein, was a Canadian-American actor and comedian.

Born to a Jewish family in Montreal, Quebec, Blue emigrated to Baltimore, Maryland at the age of nine, where he won a contest for the best impersonation of Charlie Chaplin. At the age of fifteen he was in a touring company and later became a stage manager and assistant general manager. He became a dance instructor and nightclub proprietor. In the 1920s Blue joined a popular orchestra, Jack White and His Montrealers. The entire band emphasized comedy, and would continually interact with the joke-cracking maestro. Blue, the drummer, would sometimes deliver corny jokes while wearing a ridiculously false beard. The band emigrated to the United States, and appeared in two early sound musicals — the Vitaphone short subject Jack White and His Montrealers and Universal's feature-length 2-strip Technicolor revue King of Jazz (1930). In 1930, Blue toured with the "Earl Carroll Vanities".

Blue left the band to establish himself as a solo comedian, portraying a bald-headed dumb-bell with a goofy expression. Producer Hal Roach featured him in his "Taxi Boys" comedy shorts, but Blue's dopey character was an acquired taste and he was soon replaced by other comedians. Later in the 1930s he worked at Paramount Pictures, notably in The Big Broadcast of 1938, and later at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, in films such as Easy to Wed. In 1950, he had his own short-lived TV series, The Ben Blue Show, and was also a regular on The Frank Sinatra Show.

In 1951, Blue began concentrating on managing and appearing in nightclubs in Hollywood, California and San Francisco he once appeared in a Reno, Nevada nightclub called the Dollhouse where he lost $25,000 to its owner, Bill Welch. Blue and Maxie Rosenbloom owned and performed in Hollywood's top nightclub in the 1940s called "Slapsie Maxie's." Again, in the 1960s he opened a nightclub in Santa Monica, California, called "Ben Blue's". It quickly became the "in" place and night after night was packed with top celebrities. Ben closed the club three years later because of health problems. Blue made the cover of TV Guide's June 11, 1954 Special Issue along with Alan Young, headlining an edition featuring that season's summer replacement shows. He also made appearances in TV shows such as The Jack Benny Program and The Milton Berle Show.

In 1958, he starred in a television pilot called Ben Blue's Brothers, in which he played four different parts. The show did not get picked up by a network, but the pilot was seen in 1965. He also had a recurring role in Jerry Van Dyke's television series Accidental Family in 1967. His film roles included many cameo appearances. In It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), his role was the pilot of the Standard J-1 biplane that flew Sid Caesar and Edie Adams, and he played Luther Grilk, the town drunk, in The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966). His other film appearances included small roles in The Busy Body (1967), A Guide for the Married Man (1967) and Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? (1968). He made one of his last television appearances in Land of the Giants in 1969. He was also seen the following year in the Dora Hall vanity syndicated television special, "Once Upon a Tour".

Blue died in Hollywood, California on March 7, 1975 and was interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California. After his death, his career papers covering 1935 to 1955 were deposited in the Special Collections at the University of California, Los Angeles Library.

MORE INFO ON CLYDE COOK: Clyde Cook (16 December 1891 – 13 August 1984) was an Australian born actor whose career spanned the silent film era, talkies and television.

He was known as the "Rubber Comedian" because of his ability to bend himself into almost any position. He was appearing at a London music hall when he was seen by film producer William Fox.

Diminutive Australian-born silent comic, the son of an engine driver. Clyde Cook earned his sobriquet, 'The Kangaroo Boy', because of his rubber-limbed elasticity. He had been on stage from the age of six, trained as an acrobatic dancer and performed on the Tivoli circuit in his native country, and, later, with the Folies Bergere in Paris. He was back in Australia with J.C. Williamson in 1916, appearing in musical comedy and revues. Three years later, he made his American debut in the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway and then became the star comic at the New York Hippodrome. Noted for his abilities as a contortionist, he was billed as the Australian "Inja Rubber Idiot". Within a year, he was spotted by Fox talent scouts and signed to appear in the 'Sunshine Comedy' series.

After moving to California, Clyde developed his own unique screen image, which included a huge paintbrush moustache (a prototype of which he had sported since 1917) and a completely deadpan expression. Not as distinctive in his comic style as Charles Chaplin or Buster Keaton, he never quite made the first rank as a star, though he was immensely popular as a key supporting player in two-reel comedies. In 1925, he joined Hal Roach, where he did some of his best work, which included the Stan Laurel-directed Wandering Papas (1926). In this, he played the cook for a railroad construction crew, with Oliver Hardy as a tough foreman. In the late 20's, Cook appeared in Roach's 'Taxi Boys' series and, with Warner Brothers, as comic relief in several features, often opposite Louise Fazenda.

His Australian accent proved popular enough to facilitate a smooth transition to talking pictures. This allowed Clyde to continue his career, albeit mainly in dramatic feature films, such as The Docks of New York (1928), The Taming of the Shrew (1929) and The Dawn Patrol (1930). He even got to play an Australian in The Man from Down Under (1943), but, by then, his parts had become little more than walk-ons and bits. He retired after his one-day effort in the John Wayne starrer Donovan's Reef (1963), and died twenty-one years later, in 1984, of arteriosclerosis.

MORE INFO ON HAL ROACH: Hal Roach was born in Elmira, New York in 1892. After working as, among other things, a gold prospector, he wound up in Hollywood and began picking up jobs as an extra in comedies, where he met comedian Harold Lloyd. He began producing, directing and writing a series of short film comedies starring Lloyd around 1915. These were quite successful, and Roach started his own production company and eventually bought his own studio. By the early 1920s he had eclipsed Mack Sennett as the King of Comedy and created many of the most memorable comic series of all time, even by today's standards. These include the team of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Charley Chase and The Little Rascals. By the late 1930s Roach's formula for success was jeopardized by audience demands for bigger, feature-length productions, and he was forced to try his hand at making full-length screwball comedies, musicals and dramas, although he still kept turning out two-reel comedies. By the 1950s he was producing mainly for television. In 1983 his company developed the first successful digital colorization process. Roach then became a producer for many TV series on the Disney Channel, and his company still produces most of their films and videos.

Comedy impresario Hal Roach paired two irrepressible masters of slapstick, Ben Blue and Billy Gilbert, in The Taxi Boys, a rowdy series of shorts about taxi drivers released in 1932 and '33. Montreal-born Blue (1901-1975) began working for Roach in 1932, the same year that the Taxi series began. Known for his bald pate and goofy expressions, he continued to work in movies and television through the 1960s. Gilbert (1894-1971) was born in Louisville, Ky., and got his start in vaudeville. Roach brought him to Hollywood to act, write and direct. Famous for his "sneezing" routine and for playing comic foil to such comics as Laurel & Hardy and The Three Stooges, Gilbert too appeared in many movies and television shows.

What Price Taxi (1932) -- Gilbert stepped into the series without Blue, and Clyde Cook and Franklin Pangborn play fellow drivers annoyed by an ill-tempered Billy.

Taxi for Two (1932) -- Blue now partners with Gilbert, who gets to show off his famous sneezing bit. Charlie Hall, known for his drunk act, makes an uncredited appearance.

Wreckety Wrecks (1933) -- After the boys run over a dummy and think they've killed someone, they decide to dispose of the "body" and mistake a seminary for a cemetery.

Thundering Taxis (1933) -- This was the first-produced short of the series, filmed without either Blue or Gilbert and held back a year before its release. In this one, Cook and Billy Bevan are the drivers, and Bud Jamison is the boss of the Black and Blue Taxi Company.

Taxi Barons (1933) -- Ben and Billy are mistaken for a European baron and general (General Motors!) at a swanky dinner party where they are hiding out from the police. Although their bad manners fail to reveal their true identities, the jig is up once the real dignitaries arrive.

The Rummy (1933) -- Among the comic highlights: Gilbert goes to a taxidermy shop thinking it's a place to get service for his taxi.

This item is part of Backlot Movie Memorabilia and collectibles in-store inventory from our shop which is located in the heart of Hollywood, where we have been in business for OVER 40 years!!!

TAXI BOYS Original PHOTO Billy Gilbert BEN BLUE Hal Roach Studios THUNDERING '33
Item #BMM0003699