Tuesday’s Tip: Max Broida’s Head

Max Broida, circa 1894, so about age 9; cropped from a family picture.
Max Broida, circa 1894, so about age 8-9; cropped from a family picture.

Broida Family (Click for Family Tree)

Tuesday’s Tip:

Look at data- and images- in context.

Look at data- and images- in sequence.

And look again.


We have had the pictures in this post for many years, and the new image we found on eBay of Max Broida makes a total of five (if you don’t count his film images). It wasn’t until after writing the Sunday post, however, and looking at the other four images we have of Max, that a new thought presented itself. So make sure you revisit old data and pictures periodically, since you have new information (hopefully) that will help you understand more about an ancestor.

We know that the picture posted Sunday of Max was most likely taken around 1924, because that is when he lived at 1020 W. Pico St. in Los Angeles per the City Directory, and that is the same as what he wrote on the back of the picture. Max/Buster signed himself as, “The Hairless Man”- had he performed in the circus under that guise? In vaudeville? He certainly had many Hollywood roles where his bald pate featured prominently.

Well, then what do you think of the two images in this post? Although they have been posted before, it didn’t click until now that Max had hair in these images. Max apparently was not born without hair, unless they had purchased a wig for him as a boy in the above picture.

Lucy and Dave's Wedding
Max Broida at the wedding of his brother Theodore “Dave”Broida and Lucy Shatzke, 20 Aug 1916. Family photo.

Max was born in 1885 or 1886, so was about 30-31 when his brother Dave got married. Again, unless that was a wig in the above picture, he had hair- receding quickly for a young man, but nevertheless, he had hair.

What was Max doing and where was he living in 1916, when the wedding picture was taken? We have found a ‘Max. M. Brodie’ in Los Angeles, age 30, noted as a salesman and  Republican on the Voter’s Rolls. He was living at 651 W. 42nd Place. Is this ‘our’ Max? We posted previously about this mystery and still cannot determine if these are two different men or just one with an alter ego, or in the process of becoming an actor. Having the same address on his publicity photo as what we expect might be a different man is now quite puzzling.

BROIDA_Max-as Buster Brodie_portrait_reducedWill Max’s slightly-more-than-Mona-Lisa-smile in 1924 give us more of a clue?

Here’s Max on 25 July 1930:

John Jacob/Zelig Broida and his seven sons. From left- front sitting- Max Broida, standing- Phillip Broida, Joseph J. Broida, Morris Broida, Louis Broida, Theodore Broida, Harold Broida. Sitting on right- John J. "Zelig" Broida.
John Jacob/Zelig Broida and his seven sons. From left- front sitting- Max Broida, standing- Phillip Broida, Joseph J. Broida, Morris Broida, Louis Broida, Theodore Broida, Harold Broida. Sitting on right- John J. “Zelig” Broida. Taken 24 July 1930 when John “Zelig” Broida returned from Israel for a visit. Family photo.

Sure hope there are some California family members out there who can give us a bit more insight into the life of Max Broida and/or Buster Brodie.


Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Use our search box to find other posts about Max Broida/ Buster Brodie.
  2. Photos from the Family Treasure Chest.


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