Thursday, 23 September 2010

Sepia Saturday - Mr Fred Barnes

I recently came across a couple of sepia vintage postcards of Mr Fred Barnes (b. 1885, d.1938). They are interesting enough in their own right, but when I researched him on the web, I found a whole raft of entertaining facts to share.

It would seem that he was openly gay, which in that era was not widely accepted, and as a result he was shunned by friends, family and others in the entertainment business. Having been, at times, a moderately successful light entertainer, it seems though he was more famous, or perhaps infamous, for his antics outside of the entertainment field, being known to pick up sailors in his Rolls Royce, and even crashing whilst drunk with a sailor in the passenger seat, resulting in a prison sentence. But, some things never change, and perhaps there are parallels with some of todays "stars" who don't seem to be able to keep their private life out of the papers.

Mr Fred Barnes, published by Beagles Postcards, number 465 M.

Mr Fred Barnes, the Famous Light Comedy Star, published by Beagles, number 467 D.

As always, 100's more vintage postcards on my vintage postcards web site

11 comments:

  1. Fascinating post : I don't think I had ever heard of him. I too have some of these old celebrity cards (the early 20th century equivalent of Hello Magazine) and it is always fascinating to discover what became of the subjects.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How very interesting. I'd love to know more about him. He died fairly early. I wonder if it was from some daring and reckless act or from early heart disease or something like that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It seems that sadly he committed suicide. The constant pain from tuberculosis and being told he only had a few months to live was too much for him.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes he has the feminine look. its a wonder he wasn't killed back then for being Gay, I bet life was certainly made difficult.He sounded like a very gentle soul.

    ReplyDelete
  5. He has a nice face. If only we humans knew how to celebrate difference.. then and now.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I had never heard of Fred Barnes before. Such a sad story, especially his end.

    ReplyDelete
  7. He looks like he would have been a natural on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and programs like that. At least there's more tolerance now, at least in some communities.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Very interesting. I'd like to know more about him, too. Imagine the courage it would have taken to be openly gay in those days. We've come a long way but unfortunately not quite far enough.
    Barbara

    ReplyDelete
  9. not much inclined toward the prissy kind but i admire his courage for being open about his lifestyle back then, as it proves still difficult for the young and not-so-young still nowadays...
    :/~
    HUGZ

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love his style, life would have been hard for him back then; he was very brave to live his life openly.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Interesting post of the life he lived back then.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails