Born 1905 in Hollywood, California, American vaudevillian and photographer George Kline Mann was best known as the taller half of the comedic and acrobatic dance act, Barto and Mann.
George studied dance with Roy Randolph of the Randolph’s La Monica Dance School in Santa Monica, California. Shortly after turning 20, he developed a dance act – Mann & Clark – with his high school friend Lester Clark. Signing with the William Meiklejohn Agency, they performed together in Los Angeles for three or four months before George signed on as a single with Fanchon and Marco enterprises.
George (6’6″) was soon performing for comedic effect with a much shorter (4’11”) Dewey Barto. Two days after George turned 21, George and Dewey signed a ten-year contract with Fanchon and Marco as the comedy team Barto and Mann.
Following World War II, George acted in small roles in several movies, on the stage, and with Jack Carson’s stage revue but primarily devoted himself to making a living with photography, an activity he had pursued actively while in vaudeville when he took about 12,000 black and white photographs, many of them demonstrating an extraordinary skill and aesthetic sensibility. He also took thousands of feet of B&W and color 16mm film.
In the early 1970s, George was hired by Quaker Oats to portray King Vitaman in commercials and on the front of the King Vitaman cereal box.
George Mann lived in Santa Monica, California at the time of his death in 1977 at age 71.
These amazing photos from Brad Smith were taken by George Mann that show New York’s theatre marquees from the 1930s.
|Side-street view of Loew’s Pitkin Theatre, Brooklyn, New York, May, 1930|
|Capitol Theatre, NY, December 1930|
|Loew’s Paradise Theatre, Bronx, New York, December 6, 1930|
|Loew’s Gates Theatre, Brooklyn, NY, May 7, 1930|
|Loew’s Metropolitan Theatre, Brooklyn, NY, April 12, 1930|