William F.
"Irish Billy"

WILIAM F. CARROLL, whose real name was William F. Muldoon, had a long and distinguished career in theater and vaudeville under the name of William F. Carroll, perhaps died as every actor would, on stage, at the old Broadway Theater in Camden, on February 22, 1909. It was opening night of the Camden presentation of a one-act play featuring Mayme Gehrue titled June, part of a seven feature bill. Carroll, who was both a cast member and stage manger of the feature, had assembled the cast prior to the raising of the curtain, called "Ready", and in the next instant suffered a fatal heart attack.

William F. Carroll was born William F. Muldoon in Philadelphia, the son of Irish immigrants. There is some conflict in the records as to one of the parents being born in England or Scotland. His career on stage went as far back as 1870, and records as early as 1880 show his occupation as actor. He was known on stage as William F. Carroll. He was married to an actress, whose real name was Catherine (Tarr) Muldoon. She too used a stage name. She appeared on stage with him in All on Account of Eliza.  

William F. Carroll got his start in theater in Philadelphia with Edwin Forrest, for whom the Forrest Theater is named. He soon established himself as a dancer and Irish comedian. While appearing at the Arch Street Theater in Philadelphia, he appeared in a parody of the play Camille, to the delight of world renown actress Sarah Bernhardt. He later became part of the comedy team of Harris and Carroll. Later he turned his hand to writing one-act plays. Success led him to writing three-act efforts, and he scored hits with Muldoon's Picnic and My Aunt Bridget

William F. Carroll appeared in at least three Broadway productions, All on Account of Eliza, which opened in September of 1900; The Red Kloof, a September 1901 production; and The White Hen, which ran for 94 shows beginning in February of 1907. He worked with some of the top performers of his day, including Ralph C. Herz, Louis Mann, Lionel Adams, Walter D. Greene, Daniel Jarrett, Stephen Maley; Edward See; Clara Lipman; Emma Janvier; and Edwin Nicander

The stage veteran was concerned with the welfare of his fellow actors, and was a charter member and sat in the Board of Directors of The White Rats, an early Union for actors and theater personnel, which later evolved into Actors Equity. 


If anyone has any further information about William F. "Irish Billy" Carroll, the old Broadway Theater, or Vaudeville in Camden NJ, PLEASE e-mail me!

Phil Cohen phil552@comcast.net

Camden Courier February 23, 1909


Camden Courier

February 20, 1909

Camden Courier

February 22, 1909

 William F. Carroll, better known in the profession as "Irish Billy" Carroll, dropped dead on the stage of the Broadway Theater, Camden, Monday night while waiting to go on in the vaudeville sketch "June", presented by Mayme Gehrue and company.

Billy Carrol was known throughout  the theatrical profession. He was 58 years old and made his first appearance on the stage as a super under Edwin Forrest. Later he became a dancer and in an Irish character song and dance  act he was known all over the world. He lived in Philadelphia all of his life.

His success in writing sketches led him to try his hand at three-act comedies, and he later turned out such successes as "Muldoon's Picnic," and "My Aunt Bridget" and others.
Carroll's name in private life was William F. Muldoon, but he once was known by this name only to his intimate acquaintances.

A member of the Board of Directors of the White Rats of America, he was a staunch friend and was  beloved by a multitude in and out of the profession. He is survived by  his widow, who appeared in "All on account of Eliza" with him, a mother and four brothers."


Week of

February 21, 1909