LITTLE TICH ET SES GRANDES CHAUSSURES 1900 ALICE GUY BLACHE CINEMA PIONEER WHITNEY MUSEUM NEW YORK 2009
Little Tich, about 1899 (finer copy)
Harry Relph, known on the stage as 'Little Tich', (July 21, 1867 - February 10, 1928) was an English music hall comedian. Noted for his various characters, including The Spanish Senora, The Gendarme, and The Tax Collector, his most popular routine was his amazing Big Boot dance, which involved a pair of 28-inch boots. This act was preserved on film in 1900 by pioneering director Alice Guy. He was also popular as a pantomime dame; in one season he appeared with Marie Lloyd and Dan Leno also in the cast.
Harry was born at Cudham, now in the London Borough of Bromley, one of fifteen children to the landlord of the Blacksmith's Arms. He made his first stage appearance at the age of twelve at Rosherville Gardens, Gravesend. Anyone stout at that time earned the nickname of Tich (referring to the claimant in the Tichbourne Case), so Harry, only 4ft 6in (1.37m) in height became Little Tich.
He performed internationally, and at the age of 42 was made an officer of the French Academy, for his performances at the Folies Bergere. His final performance was at the London Alhambra Theatre in 1927, with Jack Hylton's Band, and he died at Hendon after a long illness in 1928.
He was a polydactyl, having five fingers and thumb on each hand, and six toes on both feet. Mementoes of his life are still preserved at the public house which was his place of birth.