Biography and History

Mansel Boyle, known to the Vaudeville stage as "Vardaman,the Auburn-haired Beauty," was born in 1877 in Santa Cruz, California. He worked extensively on the West Coast, eventually becoming one of the best-known female impersonators of the period. At the height of his popularity (and indeed at the height of popularity for Vaudeville itself), Vardaman went on tour of the world, sailing from Honolulu in 1913. He played to good reviews (and had good contracts) in Melbourne, South Africa, and England, while visiting many other places.

Source: From the finding aid for TC089

  • Vardaman Collection. 1883-1917 (inclusive).

    Call Number: TC089

    Mansel Boyle, known to the Vaudeville stage as "Vardaman,the Auburn-haired Beauty," was one of the best-known female impersonators of Vaudeville. The collection consists of Vardaman’s papers, including documents, correspondence (both business and personal), diaries, a scrapbook, souvenir books, printing blocks, photographs of Vardaman as a female impersonator, snapshots, sheet music, playbills, clippings, miscellaneous material, and printed matter.