Kensico Vaudeville Project #: 10
Name: Rudolph Carpos
Born: 9 Sept 1875, Vienna, Austria
Died: 4 Nov 1935, New York City
There are two different gravestones for Rudolph Carpos, a professional clown who was beloved by vaudeville audiences.
He was born Rudolph Karp on 9 September 1875 in Vienna, Austria. In 1914 he toured Sydney and Newcastle, Australia, before sailing to Hawaii aboard the Ventura. During World War I he registered for the draft and was swept up in anti-German sentiment; his name appearing in the New York Herald with hundreds of men under the headline, “On File in the State Census as Austrian Aliens” with his name and street address.
In 1918 Carpos lived at 104 East 14th Street and was working the Western circuit out of the Majestic Theatre building. In 1921 he applied to become a citizen in New York. In 1927 when Marceline Orbes, a famous vaudeville clown, committed suicide, Carpos was among the vaudeville community to pay his respects when the performer was taken from Frank E. Campbell’s funeral church to Kensico by the N.V.A.
Carpos married a French immigrant, Anita. In 1930 the couple was living at 353 W. 49th Street in Hell’s Kitchen. They parted soon after. On 3 Sept. 1935 in Manhattan he married Annette Brose. Two months later Rudolph Carpos died on 4 November. An ad in Billboard was placed by Anita Carpos. Unlike others in the N.V.A. section, the deceased actor has two gravestones. The one likely purchased by his family has space for a spouse’s name that was never put on it.
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New York Times, 9 Nov. 1927, p. 25