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Marco and Fanchon (courtesy FanchonandMarco.com
Fanchon and Marco Signature Logo

Stage Name

Birth Name

Fanchon and Marco

Fanny "Fanchon" Wolff
Mike "Marco" Wolff

    Brother and Sister dance team. Born to a Los Angeles clothing store proprietor. Fanny studied piano and dance; her brother Mike (Marco) played the Violin/fiddle. Together they entertained at lodge parties and picnics, later graduated to a dinner show in Tait's famed San Francisco restaurant and later the Western, Interstate, and Keith-Orpheum circuits. The hook to their show was the grand finale exit with Fanchon sitting on Marco’s shoulders while he fiddled away on the violin.

    They were a successful Brother and Sister ballroom dance team of the 1920's and 1930's who started out as Cabaret dancers, then Dance studio owners and then turned Event Promoters and Producers.

    They had other brothers by the name of Rube and Roy Wolf(f) (musician) as well who was the orchestra leader and MC at the Paramount Theater in Los Angeles through the mid 1930’s. As children, all three performed as a trio in schools and amateur shows. Their youngest brother Roy Wolff Managed a part of the F&M business as well as the South Side theater chain.

    Thru performing, the young Wolff's had had a brilliant idea. Small cinema houses wanted to stage shows but could not afford them. These shows were usually called "Prologues, Prologs, Units, Presentations or Ideas," which were basically a live stage show(s) that preceded the film feature at movie houses. Fanchon & Marco's idea was to offer units at a reasonable price, equipped them and rehearsed them in Hollywood, sent them out complete with costumes, scenery and songs. The increased income from the movie prologues greatly helped movie theaters survive the Great Depression and so became very popular. Fanchon had a particular fondness for Adagio/ Acrobatic dance teams and small precision teams that were used often. By 1929, according to Variety Magazine "Fanchon & Marco had established the standard by which stage shows are judged."

    Fanchon & Marco, Inc. started in 1919 and snowballed until theatres which had bought franchises from them became bankrupt and or due to the depression, Unions, and in order to keep units out they had to become theatre operators. Fanchon and Marco would manage many theatres on the West Coast circuit as well as produce many acts such as the "Sunkist Beauties," "The Fanchon and Marco Girls" and the 48 woman group called the "Fanchonettes (Formerly California Sunshine Girls") to perform in these theatres. They also sponsored (hired) the winners of each years Harvest Moon Ball winners in January of the following year such as Ruth Scheim and John Englert (Collegiate Shag Champons).

    They helped start many careers such as Cyd Charisse (age 12) Joan Crawford, Martha Raye, Johnny Downs, Janet Gaynor, Dorothy LaMour, Judy Garland (Gumm Sisters), Doris Day and Bing Crosby and many others.

    Fanchon and Marco managed the "Mickey Mouse Circus" which was comprised of "Midgets and Elephants" at the California Pacific Exposition held in San Diego from 1935 to 1936. In "Danse Follies," chorus girls sang and danced and in 'Hollywood Secrets,' talkies were made and the secrets of synchronizing sound tracks with movements were revealed to the public.

    There were five separate groups of Fanchon and Marco girls which would rotate between cities which they performed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. The girls would also appear for the unveiling of many Airplanes such as the Fokker and F-32. Later, Marco basically married and retired from the theatre productions when the cost of producing the shows became to exorbitantly expensive but did do some work such as producing a few Academy Award Shows. He eventually became the owner of one of the largest independent motion picture theatre chains in the country. Fanny Wolfe (Fanchon) continued in show business and became a movie choreographer, producer.

    Fanchon married William Simon Sr. originally a luncheon chain operator turned restaurant chain owner, Lyman's Restaurant was one of them, they adopted two children, William Jr. and Faye. She was hired to stage and direct Shipstad and Johnson’s Ice Follies which lasted for four seasons. Fox studios also hired her to produce and arrange the dance sequences for many Musicals of the time. Later she would also produce USO shows overseas.

Click here for Fanchon and Marco's son 'Simon's page" on his parents: Fanchon and Marco Link


Birth Place

Birth Date

Spouse

Offspring

Los Angeles, CA. (Marco) 1894-1977 -- William Simon Jr. - b.1929 (F)
Los Angeles, CA. (Fanchon) 1892-1965 William Simon Sr. Faye (Simon) Marlow (F)
        Gloria Wolff (M)
    Marco Wolff Jr. (M)

Dance Types

Dance Troupes

Music Titles

Adagio dance 30 "California Girls" (Ideas 1923) Ain't We Got Fun
Alley Up (created by F&M) Fanchon and Marco Dancers (Pic) Mississippi Mud (Crosby)
Apache Dance Fanchon and Marco Dancers Stairway Of Dreams
Ballroom Fanchon and Marco Girls  
the Carioca Fanchonettes (Hollywood)  
Charleston Sunkist Beauties (Fanchon & Marco Girls)  
Collegiate Shag (John Englert and Ruth Scheim) Original Carioca Dancers  

Fanchon and Marco -- Idea's | Prologs | Shows, etc.

A City Gone Wild (1927) Go To Bed Idea, the Rhythm-A Tic Idea
A Trip To Mars Idea Gobs of Joy in Bermuda Idea (1929) Pardon Us Idea, the
About Town Idea, the (1931) Good Fellows Idea, the Politics Idea, the
All at Sea Idea Hollywood Secrets (1935 SD Expo) Riders of the Purple Sage
Arabian Nights Idea Hollywood Studio Girls Idea, the Rhymes in Rhythm Idea, the
Art Gallery Idea Hot Dominoes Idea, the Rolled Stockings, the (1927)
Beach Night (Sunkist Beauties) Hot Java Idea, the Rogues Romance, the
Black and White idea (Fox Theatre) Hot Mother Goose Idea, the Rosegarden Idea, the (Pantages)
Book Ideas, the (1927) Idea in Blue, the (Red, Yellow etc) Salad Idea, the
Busy Bee Idea (1928) Ideas, Idea, the. 1923 (30 Calif. Girls) Sally Idea, the (spoof on Movie)
Cadets Idea, the Ideas of Rain, the (1925) Saxophobia Idea, the
Carioca (1933) [The Dance] Jazz Cinderella Idea, The Slavique Idea, the (1931) 40 min's.
Cat’s Meow Idea, the Jazz Temple Idea, the (1929) Screenland Melodies Idea, the
Christmas Idea, the Kisses Idea, the Society Circus Idea, the
Circus Days Idea, the Love 'em and Leave 'em, the (1927) Something Old - Something New Idea, the
City Service Idea, the Love Tales, the (1923 - the First Idea) Stars of Yesterday Idea
Collegiate Idea, the Lovers Idea, the Stairway Idea , the(1928)
Contrast Idea, the Marble Idea, Sun-Kist (F/M Production 1921)
Danse Follies (1935 SD Expo) Mickey Mouse Idea, the Syncopation Idea, the (Crosby)
Fanchon & Marco Juvenile Revue Modern Minstrels Idea Swing Idea, the
Fanchon & Marco Revue, the (1919) Monte Carlo Idea, the Thru the Gates Idea, the
Fanchon & Marco Satires of 1920 Nell's and Belles Idea, the Toonerville Trolley, the (1929)
Fanchon & Marco's Star Night Next Train Idea, the Up in the Air (18 Stilt Dancers)
Gay Paree Idea, the Night Club Idea, the (1926) Valentines Idea, the
Gay Vienna Idea, the Nursery Rhymes of Modern Times idea Vaudeville Echoes, the (1931)
Gems and Jams Idea, the Once Upon a Time Idea (Paramount) West Bound-East Bound, the

Fanchon and Marco / Performers

Alva ? (of Rosalie & Alva)   Meglen Kiddies (Loew's)
Ann Miller (plus Lessons, age 12) Henry Bergeron  
Betty Grable (w/ Coogan) Huff and Hunt( Adagio) Myrna Loy (1924)
Bing Crosby (sang/ danced) Ivie Anderson (sang/ danced) Natalie Kingston
Bojangles Jack "Rube" Clifford Pablo the Magician
Brock & Thompson (Comedians) Jackie Coogan (w/ Grable) Pat Prior & Effie Norris (aka Prior Trio)
Buddy Ebsen Janet Gaynor (on a Chandelier) Patsy Marr
Charles Walters Jean Dix and Helen Burke Robert A. Bradbury
Cyd Charisse (age 12) Jerry Doherty (w/ Doris Day) Roberts Sisters
Doris Day (w/ Doherty) Joan Crawford Riva Howitt (Dancer & Secretary)
Dorothy Dell John Englert (and Ruth Scheim) Ruth Rowland (aka: Baby Ruth)
Dorothy June Johnny Downs Ruth Scheim (and John Englert)
Dorothy LaMour Judy Garland (Gumm Sisters) Sam Hearn
Dorothy Lee LeVonne Sweet (dancer) Seven Arconis (Acrobatic Troupe)
Eddie Willis Lona Briem Shirley Temple
Evans Sisters (Shana & Eve) Lydia Roberti Verna Blattner-Conn (1922) became a stripper
Fred Astaire( & Adele) Mae West Williams Four (Midge)
Great Raymond, the (Magician) Mary Martin Wright Dancers (in Sun-Kist)
Harry Kahne (Numbers Mentalist) Martha Raye  

Fanchon and Marco Employees

Bands/Orchestra's etc.

Stage Shows

Arthur Knorr (Stage Mgr. 1936) Bing Crosby Danse Follies (1935 SD Expo)
Harry Arthur (St Louis General Mgr.) Bobby Henshaw (ukelele) Fanchon & Marco Juvenile Revue
Helen Rose (Costume designer) Frank Sinatra (as Hoboken Boys) Fanchon & Marco Revue, the (1919)
Riva Howitt (Dancer & later Secretary) Henry Le Bel (Organist) Fanchon & Marco Satires of 1920
  Horace Heidt and His Californians Fanchon & Marco's Star Night
  Ivie Anderson ( Also Danced) Fiesta in Santa Barbara (Fanchonettes)
  Jack North (Banjo Player) Ice Follies
  Karl Wright  
  Mamie Smith (Singer)  
  Mildred Bailey (Sang in Dance Revue)  
  Paul H. Tutmarc (Hawaiian Steel Guitar)  
  Peggy Gilbert (Sax Musician)  
  Oswald's Victor Recording Orchestra  
... (( Performer's/Employee's list above is not a complete list )) ...

Night Clubs | Hotels etc

Theaters

F&M Radio Shows

Alibi (1929) 5th Avenue Theater (1926 Seattle) Al Pierce and his Gang
California Pacific Expo (1935) Avalon The Joe Fenner Show
Saint Francis Hotel (F&M Performed) Boulevard Theater (Los Angeles)  
Three Weekends (1928) Elsinore Theater ( Website)  
Fanchon-Marco School of Dramatics & Dancing Fox ( West Coast) Theaters (1935)  
      Hi-Pointe  
      Granada  
      Grand Theater (St. Louis)  

Sheet Music

Ivanhoe

Television

Ain't We Got Fun (F&M Satires of 1920) La Fayette n/a
My Sweeties Smile (F&M Satires of 1920) Loew's State Theater (1930)  
      Manchester Theater  
      New California Theater (1927 San Diego)  
      New Oakland Theater (1928)  
      Palace Theater (L.A.)  
  Pantages Theatre (L.A.)  
  Paramount Theater (L.A.)  
  Roxy Theater  
      Senator Theater (Sacramento)  
      Strand Theatre (performed)  
      Tabor Theater (Denver)  
      Tivoli Theatre  
      Warfield Theatre (1923)  
      Yale Theatre  

Films

Publications

1925 - Studio Tour (Fanchon) 3/1929 - The Dance (Magazine)
1927 - A Trip Through the Paramount Studios (Fanchon) 1/29/1930 - Variety Magazine (big article)
1928 - Three Weekends (Choreo.) 8/3/1931 - The Spokesman Newspaper (revue)
$ 1929 - Alibi (dance director) 1/2/1932 - The Spokesman Newspaper (revue)
1929 - Hearts in Dixie (Choreo.) 5/10/1937 - Time Magazine
1935 - Paddy O'Day (Choreo.) 5/13/1944 - Gotham Life Magazine
1935 - Star Night at the Coconut Grove (FM Girls) $ Lollipop - Fanchon/Marco Dancer
1936 - The Song and Dance Man (Choreo.) On Stage Gypsies' (Hacker) [bio of a F/M Dancer]
1937 - Thrill of a Lifetime (Producer: Fanchon, also Fanchonettes)      
1937 - Turn off the Moon (Producer: Fanchon, also Fanchonettes)    
$ 1943 - Hello Frisco, Hello (dance Supervisor)      
1943 - Coney Island (dance supervisor)      
$ 1943 - Stormy Weather (dance Supervisor)

Other, Links, etc

$ 1944 - Pin Up Girl (dance Supervisor) Fanchon and Marco Stageshows performers Contract 1938
1945 - All-Star Bond Rally, The (Producer) Fanchon and Marco Link
1945 - Where Do We Go from Here (Choreo.) FM Inc vs Paramount Picture inc, et al (1954)
1946 - Rendezvous with Annie (Choreo.) Washington.edu Library Pic's
$ 1946 - The Plainsman and the Lady (Choreo.)      
$ 1947 - Calendar Girl (Choreo.)      
1947 - Hit Parade (Choreo.)      
1948 - Campus Honeymoon (Producer)      
(1933 Footlight Parade was based on the F/M productions)    

  • NOTE: thanks to the 5/10/1937 - Time Magazine and Lollipop Articles for some additional unquoted text.

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