W. C. Fields Biography
Birthday: January 29, 1880 (Aquarius)
Born In: Darby, Pennsylvania, United States
William Claude Dukenfield, better known as W. C. Fields was a juggler and comedian widely regarded as one of the greatest personalities of early American cinema. Born into a poor family he ran away from home when he was just 11. He began his career as a juggler and was known to practice for hours perfecting his skills. By the time he was 15 he was supporting himself by performing juggling acts at church and theater shows. He called himself ‘The Eccentric Juggler’ and developed a juggling routine that included anecdotes and comedy as well. He used to juggle cigar boxes, hats and other strange objects that gave him a novel appeal. He toured all over the world and by the early 1900s he earned the reputation for being the world’s greatest juggler. He furthered his career by appearing in Broadway productions before moving on to make film appearances. His stage persona was that of a hard-drinking misanthropist who could earn his audience’s sympathies in spite of his contempt for women, children and dogs. He became a major movie star by the 1930s. However he became a victim of alcoholism which threatened his personal as well as professional life and the once-great comedian died as a result of alcohol related complications.