Fanchon and Marco

dancing comedians / 1920s

(from Stars of Vaudeville)

Posterity probably knows them both best for the chain of west coast theatres they owned. But if you’ve ever seen
the 1933 movie musical Footlight Parade with James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell,
then you know a little something about their high water mark. They created fabulous live revues as prologues
to motion picture exhibitions — an odd, transitional moment in the history of both theatre and film.

Before that, they were a brother and sister ballroom dancing act in the mold of the Castles. Fanchon and Marco
are actually their first names — a fairly unusual way to bill themselves. Their full names were Fanchon and
Marco Wolff (Fanchon later married and became Fanchon Wolff Simon). Their birthdays are unknown, although
it is recorded that Marco was born in April 1894 and Fanchon in May 1892. They started out in a trio with
their brother. All sang, danced and played musical instruments. The teens were Fanchon and Marco’s heyday
as a dancing duo; the twenties were their high point as producers. Fanchon died in 1965; Marco in 1977.

FILM DIGEST; Sunday, January 1, 1928

The expansion program of Fanchon & Marco, presentation producers,
which has for its ultimate object the routing of acts in picture
houses extending across the country, becomes a step nearer
consummation with formation of the Fanchon & Marco Production Co.

1909 B.F. Keith 5th Avenue Theatre Vaudeville-Kinetograph Flier

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