FARMINGTON — Bill Berlinghoff, scholar, teacher and collector, will speak on “The Other William Morris,” a look into early American show business, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, in the North Dining Hall at UMF. The presentation is free and open to the public.

In the early 20th century, the “other” William Morris was the foremost theatrical agent in the world. Before television, radio, “talkies” and the Internet, when entertainment was live on a stage, Morris ran the Hollywood agency that still bears his name. He was the greatest agent in vaudeville, signing Al Jolson, Charlie Chaplin, the Marx brothers and Mae West. He was loved by the likes of Sir Harry Lauder and Sophie Tucker, and his legacy has continued to this day.

Berlinghoff is a retired math professor from Colby College and Southern Connecticut State University. He has also been a semi-professional musical entertainer for more than half a century. His great-aunt Emma Berlinghoff was Mrs. William Morris. His grandfather Henry’s Young American Band was the first act the William Morris Agency ever booked, and “Uncle Henry,” as he came to be known, was a senior officer of the agency for many years.

The presentation, the second in series of lectures sponsored by the Shiretown Bookers, will include rare memorabilia from the heyday of live variety entertainment. North Dining Hall is located in the Olsen Student Center, 111 South St.

Bill Berlinghoff

Bill Berlinghoff

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