This is an amazing little clip from the 1955 bio movie about Eddie Foy, The Seven Little Foys.
Watch Bob Hope do running man in 1955 > 1:40
Foy's parents, Richard and Mary Fitzgerald immigrated to the United States from Ireland in 1855 and lived first in New York's Bowery, then in Greenwich Village, where Eddie was born.
Six-year-old Eddie began performing in the streets and local saloons to support his family. Between 1910 and 1913, he formed a family vaudeville act Eddie Foy and The Seven Little Foys.
Foy is part of the irish dance tradition that developed tap dance in America. The tradition often included singing as well as dancing, and was usually called a Song and Dance act or routine. You’d learn to dance from early childhood as part of the social culture.
Bob Hope plays Foy in the movie and James Cagney, better known for his gangster movies, plays George M. Cohan, who wrote big hits "Give My Regards to Broadway" and "The Yankee Doodle Boy".
Cohan became one of the leading Tin Pan Alley songwriters, publishing upwards of 300 original songs, noted for their catchy melodies and clever lyrics.
Cagney was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City on the corner of Avenue D and 8th Street. His father, James Sr. was an Irish American bartender and amateur boxer; Cagney was born in a room above his father’s saloon. His mother, Carolyn Nelson, was half Irish, half Norwegian; her father was a Norwegian ship captain while her mother was Irish American.
In 1938, he received his first Academy Award for Best Actor nomination for Angels with Dirty Faces, before winning in 1942 for his portrayal of George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Bob Hope Salutes James Cagney at AFI Life Achievement Award and points out the dance routine he did with Jimmy as a highlight of his career. See 1970’s stars in the audience squirm under Bob Hope’s razor sharp wit.
Hope was born in Eltham, London, England, the fifth of seven sons. His father, William Henry Hope, was a stonemason from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset and his Welsh mother, Avis Townes, was a light opera singer who later worked as a cleaning woman. The family lived in Weston-super-Mare, then Whitehall and St George in Bristol, before moving to Cleveland, Ohio in 1908.
From the age of 12, he worked at a variety of odd jobs at a local boardwalk. He would busk doing dance and comedy patter to make extra money (oftentimes on the trolley to Luna Park). He entered many dancing and amateur talent contests (as Lester Hope) and won prizes for his impersonation of Charlie Chaplin. He also boxed briefly and unsuccessfully under the name Packy East, once making it to the semifinals of the Ohio novice championship
Hope became one of Paramount's biggest stars, and would remain with the studio through the 1950s. Hope's regular appearances in Hollywood films and radio made him one of the best known entertainers in North America, and at the height of his career he was also making a large income from live concert performances.