Monday, May 3, 2010

Paul "Little Billy" Jacobs - 1910-2004

 At the time of writing Mack Sennett’s Fun Factory, I wasn’t able to ascertain the current status or whereabouts of Keystone kid komedy star Paul “Little Billy” Jacobs. I knew that he was born July 31, 1910, in Laclede, Idaho, and that he was alive at the time of the film of Richard Attenborough’s 1992 film CHAPLIN, at which time Chaplin biographer David Robinson brought him to the set. However, I could find no likely death index matches under the name Paul Jacobs, so I held out for the possibility that he might still be alive (after all, his father Dr. Joseph Jacobs lived to 94 and continued practicing medicine in Los Angeles longer than any other physician up to that time).

However, I recently learned from Mr. Robinson that in his later years Paul Jacobs went by the name “William James,” and lived in Glendale, California. Armed with that new information, I discovered that a William H. James with a matching birthday (July 31, 1910) died in Glendale on September 29, 2004. He lived to the same age his father had—94 years.

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