Motion pictures with recorded sound —known as “talking pictures”, or “talkies”—signaled the end of silent films and created some of the greatest entertainment icons of the twentieth century.

Playbills To Photoplays: Stage Performers Who Pioneered the Talkies introduces a new generation to the real life struggles and careers of talented, hard working, early twentieth century vaudeville and stage entertainers who migrated to sound film. Twenty-eight essays and over one hundred photographs examine the actors before, during, and after the revolutionary new sound film technology catapulted many of them to superstardom during Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Playbills To Photoplays: Stage Performers Who Pioneered the Talkies explains the social, political, economic, historical, and cultural issues that shaped each performer’s body of work, acting technique, persona, and public following over time.