The Prize Baby (1915)

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The title role of this Lubin split-reel comedy is held by big Oliver Hardy who, at the time, was the studio's featured "fat man." An acting troupe winds up stranded and broke and has to sneak out a window of their hotel room because they can't pay the bill. The actors walk to another town, where they discover that a baby contest is being held. Since the prize is a much-needed one hundred dollars, they dress up their fat boy, Bill (Hardy), as an infant and cart him in. The big baby is judged to be charming and quite well-developed and he wins. But as the troupe is taking off, it is discovered that some of the babies have come down with smallpox and everyone is quarantined. Bill protests so violently over being vaccinated that he winds up being carted off to jail, leaving the actors stranded once again. Some filmographies list Kate Price in the cast, but she is not present. Other Lubin regulars -- Raymond McKee, Billy Bowers, and Frances Ne Moyer -- do appear.