Here's something I've been wanting to ask youse guys for a while: was Eddie Cline a drinker?
In the book GAG MAN by Matthew Deesem on page 228 Dessem states that Eddie Cline drank himself to death. Alcohol was the main lubricant for silent film comedy, some silent film comedians and directors drank themselves to death. Yet in all the years of researching silent film comedy, I received the distinct impression that Cline was one of the few silent comedy teetotalers. I seem to remember a quote from W.C. Fields that Cline "was the only teetotaler I knew who was worth a damn." I have read that Cline used to drive Vernon Dent to the Christian Science readings. Anyone know the real story? Were the stories of Cline being a teetotaler a gag? Did Cline start drinking late in life?
Interact with your favorite SCM authors, producers, directors, historians, archivists and silent comedy savants. Or just read along. Whatever.
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Eddie Cline had a gambling addiction, but I never heard that he was an alcoholic. Edward Bernds told me that by the late 1950s Cline was so broke that he sold his car to pay off gambling debts.
"Of course he smiled -- just like you and me." -- Harold Goodwin, on Buster Keaton (1976)
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