D.O.B.: January 31, 1882
D.O.D.: October 10, 1964
Cause of Death:
Location: Hillside Memorial; Mausoleum, Hall of Graciousness 2nd floor
Eddie Cantor was born on the Lower East Side of New York City in 1892 (exact date in question) and lost his parents by the age of three. Upon receiving the news that her grandson was now an orphan, his grandmother, Esther, took care of him.
He teamed up with Al Lee and was booked in Los Angeles, where songwriter Earl Carroll recommended him to theatrical producer Oliver Morosco. Morosco featured him in Carroll's show, Canary Cottage. It was from this show that the great Florenz Ziegfeld scooped him up for his "Midnight Frolic" at the New Amsterdam Theater on 42nd Street in New York. His energy was enormous; with a performance at 1:15 a.m. he felt he could also ask Max Hart to book him into vaudeville. Ziegfeld wouldn't hear of it. After 27 weeks, Frolic closed and Ziegfeld put him into the "Ziegfeld Follies of 1917".
The Follies were good to Cantor. Not only was he becoming a major star, but so were his good friends, like W.C. Fields, Bert Williams, Fanny Brice and Will Rogers . He performed in the Follies of 1917, 1918, and 1919. It was at this point that he became active in Actor's Equity Association and closed down Broadway theaters in a strike to give rights to actors. Ziegfeld was furious and now refused to have him star in a leading role. However, that didn't stop the Shuberts, who cast him in the touring revue, "Midnight Rounders". The tailor scene from this show is preserved on film in a segment of a 1930 movie called "Glorfying the American Girl".
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