William Gaxton (née Arturo Antonio Gaxiola, December 2, 1893 – February 2, 1963) was a star of vaudeville, film, and theatre. Gaxton was president of The Lambs Club from 1936 to 1939, 1952 to 1953, and 1957 to 1961. He and Victor Moore became a popular theatre team in the 1930s and 1940s; they also appeared in several films and shorts together. Although a fine vocalist, Gaxton's strength was his comic timing and he often requested songs of his be removed from shows in favor of giving him more time for comedic scenes. An example of this was the removal of "Easy to Love" from Cole Porter's Anything Goes . The song reappeared in the show 53 years later, sung by Howard McGillin in the 1987 Broadway revival.
Gaxton was born as Arturo Antonio Gaxiola in San Francisco to Cecilia and John Gaxiola. Gaxton served in the U.S. Navy during World War I. He was of Spanish ancestry and a cousin of actor Leo Carrillo.
Gaxton appeared on film and onstage. He debuted on Broadway in the Music Box Revue on October 23, 1922.
On radio, Gaxton starred in Broadway Showtime, a 30-minute musical drama that ran on CBS December 27, 1943 to June 26, 1944. ]] In 1961 and 1962, he and Arthur Treacher starred in Guy Lombardo's production of the musical Paradise Island at Jones Beach Marine Theater.
He died from cancer on February 2, 1963 in Manhattan, New York City.
Gaxton starred in the film version of Fifty Million Frenchmen (1931), as well as Best Foot Forward (1943), The Heat's On (1943), and Diamond Horseshoe (1945).
He debuted on Broadway in the Music Box Revue on October 23, 1922 and went on to star in such hits as Rodgers and Hart's A Connecticut Yankee (1927), singing "Thou Swell"; Cole Porter's Fifty Million Frenchmen (1929), singing "You Do Something to Me"; Of Thee I Sing (1933) with Victor Moore; Cole Porter's Anything Goes (1934), with Ethel Merman and Victor Moore; White Horse Inn (1936); Leave It to Me! (1938) with Victor Moore; Louisiana Purchase (1940); and Hollywood Pinafore (1945).