William GaxtonShow Count: 1
Series Count: 0
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Born: 2 December 1893
, San Francisco, California, U.S.
Died: 2 February 1963, New York City, New York, U.S.
William Gaxton (nee Arturo Antonio Gaxiola, December 2, 1893 - February 2, 1963) was a star of vaudeville, film, and theatre.
Gaxton was born as Arturo Antonio Gaxiola in San Francisco. He was of Spanish ancestry and a cousin of actor Leo Carrillo.
Gaxton appeared on film and onstage. He debuted on Broadway in the Music Box Revue on October 23, 1922 and went on to star in such hits asRogers and Hart's A Connecticut Yankee (1927), singing "Thou Swell"; Cole Porter's Fifty Million Frenchmen (1929), singing "You Do Something to Me"; Of Thee I Sing (1933) with Victor Moore; Cole Porter's Anything Goes (1934), with Ethel Merman and Victor Moore; White Horse Inn (1936);Leave It to Me! (1938) with Victor Moore; and Louisiana Purchase (1940).
He and Victor Moore became a popular theatre team in the 1930s and 1940s; they also appeared in several films and shorts together. Although a fine vocalist, Gaxton's strength was his comic timing and he often requested songs of his be removed from shows in favor of giving him more time for comedic scenes. An example of this was the removal of "Easy to Love" from Cole Porter's Anything Goes . The song reappeared in the show 53 years later, sung by Howard McGillin in the 1987 Broadway revival.
Gaxton starred in the film version of Fifty Million Frenchmen (1931), as well as Best Foot Forward (1943), The Heat's On (1943), and Diamond Horseshoe (1945).
In 1961 and 1962, he and Arthur Treacher starred in Guy Lombardo's production of the musical Paradise Island at Jones Beach Marine Theater.
Gaxton was twice president of The Lambs Club in the 1930s and again in the 1950s. He died from cancer in 1963.