We have a very large clipping file on Harry Watson Jr. at NYPL's Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Lots of photos too, and separate files on his stage partner George Bickel. Going through Watson's clippings I've found evidence of what looks like three different Harry Watsons, all dumped together in the Harry Watson Jr. file.
The first is Harry Watson Jr. star of the Musty Suffers series, partner of George Bickel, headliner in many editions of the Ziegfeld Follies, later character player in Marion Davies features such as LITTLE OLD NEW YORK ('23) and ZANDER THE GREAT ('25). 99% of the clippings are his.
The second is just plain Harry Watson. Two or three clippings from the teens refer to him as a theatre old-timer. A Pittsburgh Post item from 2/10/1910 says:
"Harry Watson, in the Gayety this week, in the specialty of Watson, Hutchings and Edwards, in "Schmultz's Night Out," is now in his fifty-first year before the footlights, and has seen, in his day, the rise and fall of many theatrical lines."
There are also two photos of him, one in his character of Schmultz, and another a formal pose out of character. There's a very slight resemblence to Watson Jr. in the formal photo which leads me to think he could be Watson Jr.'s father. There's no mention in any clippings for either about a father-son connection, but the Harry Watson Jr. billing had to come from somewhere.
The third is a Harry B. Watson who's headlining in 1919 with a vaudeville act entitled "RUBEVILLE." A Toldeo Times review from 5/20/1919 says:
"Watson began his stage career just 30 years ago at the tender age of nine, in the old melodrama, "Lights o' London," but early in his career he showed an inclination towards comedy, which bent he has been following for the last score of years."
This is the Harry B. Watson that I believe turns up in these early talkie shorts for Pathe as two of the titles are RUBEVILLE ('29) and RUBEVILLE NIGHT CLUB ('30). I also suspect he's the one who passed away in 1930, and Variety mixed Harry Watson Jr. into the obit.
Our Musty Harry Watson Jr. seems to have dropped out of showbusiness in the mid 1920s after appearing in the Marion Davies film ZANDER THE GREAT ('25) and the 1925-1926 Broadway musical TIP-TOES. In the NYPL collection I found four color snapshots of him (nobody else looks quite like that) dated 1953, that have an elderly Musty mugging for the camera. I'd like to post a couple of them here, but don't know how to do the photos. I'll send them along to Richard and maybe he can put them up.