Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Most actors who worked in Hollywood during the Golden Age were uncredited on-screen. They received little publicity and their collective story is generally neglected. The personal correspondence, contracts, and photographs of one unknown actor, Gino Corrado, gives us new insights into the history of film. Tracing Corrado’s personal story, this dissertation, told as a microhistory, ilucidates major issues in motion picture history such as labor disputes, political loyalties, ethnic affiliations, and the career paths of working actors between the world wars.

Corrado’s story is in many ways a counter-narrative to film history biographies. This dissertation argues that the strategies of individual actors were opportunistic, everchanging and much more complex that previously thought. Corrado’s massive filmography of over 500 films lends credibility to his knack of surviving as a working actor. As a waiter and later a restaurateur, his story also illuminates the centrality of food to the film industry.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.