Eddie DeComa

born: 06 July 1876
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
United States of America
died: 30 July 1938
Los Angeles, California,
United States of America
(cancer, age 62)

American actor, acrobat, and stuntman who was a veteran circus performer, clown, and aerialist.
He later gave his date of birth as 05 July, with the year given varying depending on the record. 06 July 1876 is given on an actual birth registration record filed in 1878. On his World War I draft registration card (12 Sep 1918), he is a moving picture actor with the L-KO studio. In early 1921, he was working for Fox. A 1934 press photo notes that DeComa "has spent fifty years under the 'big top'"; at that time, he was working in a carnival scene in "Ruggles of Red Gap."
During the 1910s, DeComa performed in vaudeville as part of the tumbling duo "Cornalla & Wilbur" (first name also spelled "Cornella" and "Conalla"). In June 1914, DeComa was arrested in San Diego, California after a "Cornalla & Wilbur" performance and charged with assaulting a 15-year old girl named Salome Harrison in the property room of the Savoy, the local Pantages vaudeville theatre where the duo was performing at the time. Per Variety: "He denies the charge, as preferred, saying he had only begun to make love to the girl when his act was called and he had to leave her." He was held in the county jail, with bail set at $2,000 (equivalent to over $60,000 in 2023). Four months later, the charge was dropped by the District Attorney. Per Variety: "Friel [sic] secured bail, but the girl was held as a witness in the detention home. She changed testimony several times, finally admitting duress had not been used against her. The case had gone before one jury, which disagreed."
He passed away in a Los Angeles rest home from metastatic cancer, primarily of the liver, which had spread to his stomach, pancreas, and mesentery.
Real name: Edward Anthony Freil
Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.


An Eastern Westerner

Fly My Kite
Stunts for Margaret Mann

(click any image to enlarge)

The Harold Lloyd Encyclopedia by Annette D'Agostino Lloyd (book)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:HF3B-YNMM (birth reg.)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9V6-R3B4 (birth reg.)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN8Z-GY2 (1880 Census)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7ZZ-V4M (1915 marriage)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZVN-NQ5 (WWI draft reg. card)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHQN-W3F (1920 Census)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XCJT-GV2 (1930 Census)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKSM-B3PY (CA Death Index, "DECOMA EDDIE")
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKS9-M6YB (CA Death Index, "FREIL EDWARD A")
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPS2-GNXD (death certificate)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:6K4D-ZNWV (Social Security Numident File)
https://archive.org/details/variety35-1914-06/page/n109/mode/1up?q=%22eddie+de+coma%22&view=theater (Variety, 26 Jun 1914)
https://archive.org/details/variety36-1914-10/page/n108/mode/1up?q=%22eddie+friel%22&view=theater (Variety, 17 Oct 1914)
https://archive.org/details/movingpicturewee78movi_1/page/n321/mode/1up?q=%22eddie+de+coma%22&view=theater (Moving Picture Weekly, 12 Oct 1918)
https://archive.org/details/sim_billboard_1921-01-01_33_1/page/55/mode/1up?q=%22eddie+de+coma%22&view=theater (Billboard, 01 Jan 1921)
https://archive.org/details/variety73-1924-01/page/n178/mode/1up?q=%22eddie+decoma%22&view=theater (Variety, 10 Jan 1924)
https://archive.org/details/sim_billboard_1924-01-12_36_2/page/106/mode/1up?q=%22eddie+decoma%22&view=theater (Billboard, 12 Jan 1924)
https://archive.org/details/variety131-1938-08/page/n53/mode/1up?q=freil&view=theater (Variety, 03 Aug 1938)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/201895523160 (1934 photo)
http://theluckycorner.com/rmt/107.html (Robert Demoss/The Lucky Corner)
Jesse Brisson (bio notes and research)

This page was last updated on: 15 October 2023