Snitz Edwards
(01/01/1868 - 5/01/1937)

Born Edward Neumann into a Jewish household on New Year's Day, 1868 in Budapest, Hungary, Edwards emigrated to the United States and became a very successful Broadway stage actor during the early twentieth century. His first show was the musical comedy Little Red Riding Hood which opened on January 8, 1900. Edwards often appeared in the first decade of the twentieth-century on the Broadway stage in productions for such prominent stage directors as Arthur Hammerstein and Charles Frohman. He also traveled with touring companies across the United States and in South America. On one trip, the company manager absconded with the box office receipts, leaving Snitz and the rest of the marooned troupers to find their way across Panama to catch a steam ship back to New York. In later years, Snitz told of touring cow towns in the American West, where boarding houses had signs saying Jews, Indians and Irish were acceptable, but not actors.

Edwards transitioned to films rather easily and was quickly lauded as a talented character actor. With his expressive and "homely" face, he was considered by many directors to be well-suited to light, comedic roles and often played characters written as a comic foil opposite starring actors. Ironically, it was his "homely", pliable features that eventually made Edwards a household name during the 1920s.

At his peak in the late 1910s and early 1920s, Edwards appeared with some of the most famous actors of the era, including: Mary Pickford, Clara Kimball Young, Barbara La Marr, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Wallace Reid, Lila Lee, Colleen Moore, Lionel Barrymore, Conrad Nagel, Owen Moore, Mildred Harris, Rod La Rocque, Ramón Novarro, Marion Davies and countless others. In 1925 he was cast in one of his most memorable roles, that of Florine Papillon in the Rupert Julian directed box-office hit The Phantom of the Opera, opposite Lon Chaney, Sr. and Mary Philbin, and he co-starred with Fairbanks in "Thief of Bagdad."

Edwards also was personally chosen by actor and director Buster Keaton to act in three of Keaton's films: 1925's Seven Chances, 1926's Battling Butler, and the extremely popular 1927 film College.

By the early 1930s and the advent of talkies, Edwards was already in his 60s, suffering from crippling arthritis, but remaining active until his last role, a part in the 1931 William A. Wellman directed crime drama The Public Enemy opposite actors Jean Harlowe, James Cagney, and Joan Blondell. Originally, the part was a significant one, but the first scenes were shot were in driving rain, causing Edwards to become severly ill. In the surviving film, he only appears in the first scene (dropping a dime into a pay phone to rat out Cagney.)

Available Films

April Fool (1926)

The Clinging Vine (1926)

The Cruise of the Jasper B (1926)