Known for movies

Short Info

DiedOctober 10, 1964, Beverly Hills, California, United States
SpouseIda Cantor
FactBoth his parents died before he was a year old, and he was adopted and raised by his maternal grandmother, Esther Lazarowitz Kantrowitz, who died on January 29, 1917, two days before he signed a long-term contract with Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. to appear in his "Follies". "Kantrowitz" was the name mistakenly assigned to the boy instead of his actual name, Iskowitz, by a public school registrar. It was shortened to Cantor. Eddie was the nickname given him by his girlfriend, Ida Tobias, whom he later married (See Ida Tobias Cantor).
PaymentsEarned $100,000 + 10% profits from Whoopee! (1930)


Eddie Cantor (January 31, 1892 – October 10, 1964) was an American comedian, singer, dancer, and actor. He was one of the most popular entertainers in the first half of the 20th century. His radio show, The Eddie Cantor Show, was broadcast from coast to coast in the United States and was one of the most popular radio programs during the 1930s.

Cantor was born Edward Israel Iskowitz in New York City, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Meta (née Blumberg) and Mechel Iskowitz. His father owned a small tailor shop on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. His parents were both devout Jews, and his family observed all the major Jewish holidays. Cantor had two older brothers, Jacob and David.

Cantor’s father died when he was nine years old, and his mother supported the family by working as a seamstress. As a child, Cantor was known for his “cry face” or “gutter face”, which he would make at various points during his performances. This earned him the nickname “Banjo Eyes”.

Cantor’s professional career began as a burlesque comic in 1910. He then toured the country with various vaudeville shows and became a headliner on the New York stage by 1917. He made his Broadway debut in the musical revue Kid Boots (1926).

In 1928, Cantor signed a contract with the newly formed Warner Bros. studio to appear in their first all-talking feature film, The Jazz Singer (1927). Cantor’s role in The Jazz Singer was small, but it brought him national attention. He continued to appear in Warner Bros. films through the early 1930s.

In 1933, Cantor began hosting his own radio show, The Eddie Cantor Show. The show was a huge success, and it made Cantor a national celebrity. He continued to host the show until 1942.

During World War II, Cantor served in the United States Navy Reserve. After the war, he returned to his radio show and also appeared in a number of films and television shows.

Cantor’s health began to decline in the early 1960s, and he retired from show business in 1962. He died of a heart attack in 1964 at the age of 72.

Cantor was married three times and had five children. His first wife was Ida Tobias, whom he married in 1914. They had two children together before divorcing in 1922. His second wife was Marjorie Mazia, a dancer with the Ziegfeld Follies. They were married from 1927 to her death in 1945. They had three children together. His third wife was actress Joan Winmill Brown, whom he married in 1948. They had no children together and divorced in 1957.

Cantor’s net worth at the time of his death was estimated to be $5 million.

General Info

Full NameEddie Cantor
DiedOctober 10, 1964, Beverly Hills, California, United States
Height1.72 m
ProfessionActor, Comedian, Author, Film producer, Screenwriter, Singer-songwriter, Dancer, If You Knew Susie, Cheer Up! Smile! Nertz!, Makin' Whoopee
NationalityAmerican

Family

SpouseIda Cantor
ChildrenNatalie Cantor Metzger, Marilyn Cantor Baker, Marjorie Cantor, Janet Cantor Gari, Edna Cantor McHugh, If You Knew Susie, Cheer Up! Smile! Nertz!, Makin' Whoopee
ParentsMeta Iskowitz, Mechel Iskowitz, If You Knew Susie, Cheer Up! Smile! Nertz!, Makin' Whoopee

Accomplishments

AwardsAcademy Honorary Award, Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, If You Knew Susie, Cheer Up! Smile! Nertz!, Makin' Whoopee
MoviesKid Boots, Whoopee!, Palmy Days, The Kid from Spain, Roman Scandals, Hollywood Party, Kid Millions, Strike Me Pink, Ali Baba Goes to Town, Forty Little Mothers, Thank Your Lucky Stars, Hollywood Canteen, Show Business, Ziegfeld Follies, If You Knew Susie, The Story of Will Rogers, A Few Moments with...
TV ShowsThe Colgate Comedy Hour, The Eddie Cantor Comedy Theatre

Social profile links

Salary

TitleSalary
Whoopee! (1930)$100,000 + 10% profits

Quotes

#Quote
1[on blackface] I do the same stuff with it or without it, but folks have me pegged as a blackface man and a blackface man I've got to be.
2[on blackface] I don't myself quite understand why people will laugh more at a joke delivered in blackface than the same wheeze without the burnt cork. But they do.
3All women are natural born espionage agents.
4Lovely girl. Lovely family. Her poor father died of throat trouble. They hung him.
5It doesn't matter how much the boss likes you, you can't work in a bank and take home samples.
6[on his vaudeville days] When [George Jessel] and I were not acting, we were playing. We had no outside games or diversions, so all our fun had to be born of the theatre. On one occasion we ruined a perfectly boring mystery thriller. Just as the distracted father cried, "Where is my daughter?" we walked across the stage behind him, both of us in black-face, with brooms slung across our shoulders. The audience broke into laughter and the actors of the piece were mystified, instead of the audience. On another occasion we found that a newcomer to our act, a little girl violinist, was getting more applause than was healthy for her. The next night when she took her bow we were right beside her, each of us with a violin of his own, and shared the hand. Another time, as she finished her number, I suddenly appeared in one of the boxes of the theatre and began a campaign speech: "Ladies and gentlemen- If I am elected the public monies will be safe. I will guard them and keep them. You'll have nothing to worry about". A distraction like this always brought a laugh and diverted some applause.
7A wedding is a funeral where you smell your own flowers.
8Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast--you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
9Marriage is an attempt to solve problems together which you didn't have when you were on your own.
10When I see the "Ten Most Wanted" lists I always have this thought: If we made them feel wanted earlier, they wouldn't be wanted now.
11We call our relatives the kin we love to touch.
12It takes twenty years to make an overnight success.
13[on Al Jolson] He was more than just a singer or an actor. He was an experience.
14[commenting about losing most of his money in the 1929 stock market crash] Well, folks, they got me in the market just like they got everybody else. In fact, they're not calling it the stock market any more. They're calling it the stuck market.
15[after attending the premiere of the film The Eddie Cantor Story (1953)] If that was my life, I didn't live.

Facts

#Fact
1Taking his show on a national tour, he was preparing to open one night at a theater in Minneapolis, in which every seat had been sold. Shortly before the show was to begin that night, a terrific snowstorm hit Minneapolis, effectively shutting the city down, and of the hundreds of people who had bought tickets to see the show, only seven managed to make it to the theater. When the management wanted to cancel the show and refund the patrons' money, Cantor refused, saying, "These people have paid their money to come and see me, and that's what they're going to get". So he put on the full show--elaborate musical numbers, sketches, dancing girls, comics, etc.--for an audience of just seven people.
2Cantor reportedly received 3200 write-in votes for President in 1928 in an election won by Herbert Hoover. In another year he received over 1000 write-ins for Governor of New Jersey.
3Cantor joined the NY actor's club, The Lambs, in 1923. He was the first president of the radio union, AFRA, in 1937.
4He was awarded 3 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Motion Pictures at 6648 Hollywood Boulevard; for Television at 1710 Vine Street; and for Radio at 6765 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
5Following his financial loss in the stock market crash of 1929, Eddie Cantor wrote a short humorous book entitled, "Caught Short."
6Brother-in-law of Nettie Tobias.
7Great-grandfather of Lee Newman.
8Grandfather of Brian Gari and Judy McHugh
9Often ate the breakfast staple cornflakes and milk for dinner at fancy restaurants. It had been the foodstuff he could afford as an up-and-coming comedian, and due to some personal quirk, he preferred it even after he was rich and famous.
10Father-in-law of Robert Clary.
11Both his parents died before he was a year old, and he was adopted and raised by his maternal grandmother, Esther Lazarowitz Kantrowitz, who died on January 29, 1917, two days before he signed a long-term contract with Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. to appear in his "Follies". "Kantrowitz" was the name mistakenly assigned to the boy instead of his actual name, Iskowitz, by a public school registrar. It was shortened to Cantor. Eddie was the nickname given him by his girlfriend, Ida Tobias, whom he later married (See Ida Tobias Cantor).
12Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. Pg. 89-91. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
13Father of Marilyn Cantor Baker, Marjorie Cantor, Natalie Cantor, Edna Cantor McHugh and Janet Cantor Gari
14Theme song: "One Hour With You."
15Inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2000.
16At one time, when the rights to The Wizard of Oz (1939) were owned by Samuel Goldwyn, Cantor was considered for the role of the Scarecrow. Goldwyn eventually sold the rights to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
17President of Screen Actors Guild (SAG) from 1933-1935.
18He invented the name "March of Dimes" for the donation campaigns of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (polio), a play on the "March of Time" newsreels. He began the first campaign on his own radio show in January 1938, asking people to mail a dime to the nation's most famous polio victim, President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Other entertainers joined in the appeal via their own shows, and the White House mail room was deluged with 2,680,000 dimes.
19Received a Special Academy Award in 1956 for distinguished service to the film industry.

Pictures

Movies

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Looney Tunes Show2011-2013TV Series writer - 26 episodes
Boardwalk EmpireTV Series performer - 1 episode, 2012 writer - 1 episode, 2010
Lost Boys: The Thirst2010Video writer: "Merrily We Roll Along"
The Angry Video Game Nerd2007-2009TV Series music - 2 episodes
The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story2009Documentary performer: " Potatoes Are Cheaper - Tomatoes Are Cheaper Now's the Time To Fall in Love"
Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1930s: Dancing Away the Great Depression2009Video documentary performer: "Okay, Toots", "Mandy", "Build a Little Home" - uncredited
Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1920s: The Dawn of the Hollywood Musical2008Video documentary performer: "Oh, Gee, Georgie!", "The Dumber They Come, the Better I Like 'em", "Makin' Whoopee" - uncredited / writer: "The Dumber They Come, the Better I Like 'em" - uncredited
Cinderella Man2005performer: "Cheer Up, Smile, Nertz" 1931
Looney Tunes: Back in Action2003lyrics: "Merrily We Roll Along"
Carnivàle2003TV Series performer - 1 episode
Histeria!1998-1999TV Series music - 6 episodes
Pinky and the Brain1997TV Series music - 1 episode
Space Jam1996writer: "Merrily We Roll Along"
Bullets Over Broadway1994performer: "Ma He's Making Eyes At Me"
The Critic1994TV Series music - 1 episode
Animaniacs1993TV Series music - 4 episodes
Taz-Mania1993Video Game writer: "Merrily We Roll Along"
Road Runner's Death Valley Rally1992Video Game music: "Merrily We Roll Along"
Curly Sue1991writer: "Merrily We Roll Along"
Rover Dangerfield1991writer: "Merrily We Roll Along"
Tiny Toon Adventures1990TV Series music - 3 episodes
Gremlins 2: The New Batch1990writer: "Merrily We Roll Along"
Men Don't Leave1990writer: "MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG"
Daffy Duck's Quackbusters1988music: "Merrily We Roll Along" - uncredited
Brother Can You Spare a Dime1975Documentary performer: "Now's the Time to Fall in Love" 1931
Blazing Saddles1974writer: "Merrily We Roll Along" - uncredited
The Great Radio Comedians1972TV Movie documentary performer: "Over There", "One Hour With You"
Bonnie and Clyde1967performer: "I Love to Spend Each Sunday with You" - uncredited / writer: "I Love to Spend Each Sunday with You" - uncredited
Startime1959TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Eddie Fisher Show1958TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Eddie Cantor Story1953lyrics: "I Love to Spend Each Sunday with You" - uncredited
The Story of Will Rogers1952performer: "Ma He's Making Eyes at Me" - uncredited
If You Knew Susie1948performer: "If You Knew Susie" 1925, "What Do I Want with Money" 1948, "My, How the Time Goes By" 1948, "Sextette" 1835 uncredited
Big Time Revue1947Short writer: "I'll Have Vanilla" - uncredited
Hollywood Canteen1944performer: "We're Having a Baby" 1941
Show Business1944performer: "The Curse of an Aching Heart" 1913, "I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl That Married Dear Old Dad" 1911, "Sextette" 1935, "Alabamy Bound" 1924, "Dinah" 1925, "I Don't Want to Get Well" 1917, "Makin' Whoopee" 1928 - uncredited
Thank Your Lucky Stars1943"London Bridge Is Falling Down", uncredited / performer: "Now's the Time to Fall in Love" 1931, "We're Staying Home Tonight" 1943 - uncredited
Forty Little Mothers1940"Little Curly Hair in a High Chair" 1940, uncredited / performer: "Little Curly Hair in a High Chair" 1940 - uncredited
The Bear That Couldn't Sleep1939Short lyrics: "Merrily We Roll Along"
Ali Baba Goes to Town1937performer: "Laugh Your Way Through Life" 1937, "Swing Is Here to Sway" 1937, "Vote for Honest Abe" 1937, "Pennies from Heaven" 1936, "Dinah" 1925 - uncredited
Strike Me Pink1936performer: "First You Have Me High Then You Have Me Low" 1935, "The Lady Dances" 1935, "Calabash Pipe" 1935 - uncredited
Billboard Frolics1935Short lyrics: "Merrily We Roll Along"
Devil Dogs of the Air1935lyrics: "Merrily We Roll Along" 1935 - uncredited
Kid Millions1934performer: "When My Ship Comes In" 1934 uncredited, "Mandy" 1918, "Okay, Toots" 1934 uncredited, "Let My People Go" uncredited, "Ice Cream Fantasy" 1934 uncredited, "The Man on the Flying Trapeze" 1867 uncredited
Roman Scandals1933performer: "Build a Little Home" 1933, "Keep Young and Beautiful" 1933, "Put a Tax on Love" 1933, "All of Me" 1931, "Dinah" 1925, "Kickin' the Gong Around" 1931 - uncredited
The Kid from Spain1932"What a Perfect Combination" 1932, uncredited / performer: "In the Moonlight" 1932 uncredited, "Look What You've Done" 1932 uncredited, "What a Perfect Combination" 1932 uncredited, "La Paloma"
Palmy Days1931"Yes, Yes My Baby Said Yes, Yes" 1931, "The Wedding March" 1843, uncredited / lyrics: "There's Nothing Too Good For My Baby" 1931 - uncredited / music: "There's Nothing Too Good For My Baby" 1931 - uncredited / performer: "There's Nothing Too Good For My Baby" 1931, "Yes, Yes My Baby Said Yes, Yes" 1931, "Happy Days Are Here Again" 1929 - uncredited
Whoopee!1930"Makin' Waffles" 1930, uncredited / performer: "Makin' Whoopee" 1928, "A Girl Friend of a Boy Friend of Mine" 1930, "My Baby Just Cares for Me" 1930, "Ol' Man River" 1927 - uncredited
Insurance1930Short performer: "Now That the Girls Are Wearing Long Dresses" - uncredited / writer: "Now That the Girls Are Wearing Long Dresses" - uncredited
Getting a Ticket1930Short performer: "My Wife Is on a Diet" - uncredited
Finding His Voice1929Documentary short writer: "Merrily We Roll Along" - uncredited
A Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic1929Short performer: "I Faw Down an' Go Boom", "If I Give Up the Saxophone", "Eddie Cantor's Automobile Horn Song"
That Party in Person1929Short performer: "Hungry Women", "Here's That Party Now In Person"
A Few Moments with Eddie Cantor, Star of 'Kid Boots'1923Short performer: "The Dumber They Come, the Better I Like 'em" 1923, "Oh, Gee, Georgie!" - uncredited / writer: "The Dumber They Come, the Better I Like 'em" 1923 - uncredited

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Startime1959TV SeriesEddie Cantor
Playhouse 901956TV SeriesMorris Sizeman
Matinee Theatre1956TV SeriesGeorge Morris
The Eddie Cantor Story1953Audience Member (uncredited)
The Jack Benny Program1953TV SeriesEddie Cantor
The Story of Will Rogers1952Eddie Cantor
All Star Revue1951TV SeriesGuest Vocalist / Actor
If You Knew Susie1948Sam Parker
Meet Mr. Mischief1947ShortFace on Station Program Poster (uncredited)
Screen Snapshots Series 25, No. 2: Radio Shows1945ShortEddie - The Eddie Cantor Program
Hollywood Canteen1944Eddie Cantor
Show Business1944Eddie Martin
Thank Your Lucky Stars1943Eddie Cantor / Joe Simpson
Forty Little Mothers1940Gilbert Jordan Thompson
Ali Baba Goes to Town1937Ali Baba
Strike Me Pink1936Eddie Pink
Kid Millions1934Eddie Wilson Jr.
Roman Scandals1933Eddie / Oedipus
The Kid from Spain1932Eddie Williams
Palmy Days1931Eddie Simpson
Whoopee!1930Henry Williams
Insurance1930ShortSidney B. Zwieback
Glorifying the American Girl1929Eddie Cantor - Appearance in Revue Scenes
That Party in Person1929ShortEddie Cantor
Special Delivery1927Eddie Beagle - the Mail Carrier
Kid Boots1926Samuel (Kid) Boots

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Colgate Comedy HourTV Series 1 episode, 1953 writer - 1 episode, 1953
Ziegfeld Follies1945uncredited
Palmy Days1931story and dialogue
Mr. Lemon of Orange1931dialogue
Caught Short1930book "Caught Short"
Special Delivery1927story - uncredited

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Eddie Cantor Comedy Theater1955TV Series producer - 3 episodes
The Colgate Comedy Hour1953TV Series producer - 1 episode
If You Knew Susie1948producer
Show Business1944producer

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Eddie Cantor Story1953singing voice: Keefe Brasselle

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
All Star Revue1951-1953TV SeriesHimself - Guest Comedian / Himself / Himself - Maxie the Taxi
Be What You Want1953TV MovieHimself
Screen Snapshots: Memorial to Al Jolson1952Documentary shortHimself
World's Middleweight Championship: Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Randy Turpin1951Himself - Audience Member
Screen Snapshots: Hollywood's Happy Homes1949Documentary shortHimself
Screen Snapshots 9860: Hollywood Friars Honor George Jessel1948ShortHimself - Speaker
The Friendship Train1948Documentary shortHimself
American Creed1946ShortHimself
The March of Time: Volume 1, Number 51937Documentary shortHimself
Screen Snapshots Series 15, No. 51936Documentary shortHimself
The Hollywood Gad-About1934Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)
Screen Snapshots1932/IIDocumentary shortHimself
Screen Snapshots Series 10, No. 31930ShortHimself
Screen Snapshots Series 9, No. 231930ShortHimself, at Premiere
Screen Snapshots Series 9, No. 181930ShortHimself
Getting a Ticket1930ShortHimself, Eddie Cantor
A Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic1929ShortHimself
A Few Moments with Eddie Cantor, Star of 'Kid Boots'1923ShortHimself
The Starland Review1922Documentary shortHimself
Starland Review No. 41922Documentary shortHimself
The Linkletter Show1959TV SeriesHimself
Sunday Showcase1959TV SeriesHimself
You Asked for It1959TV SeriesHimself
The Eddie Fisher Show1958TV SeriesHimself
Social Security in Action1958TV SeriesHimself
The Big Record1957TV SeriesHimself - guest
Playhouse 901957TV SeriesHimself - -Host
What's My Line?1952-1957TV SeriesHimself - Mystery Guest
The Jackie Gleason Show1957TV SeriesHimself - Tribute Recipient
Person to Person1956TV Series documentaryHimself
Climax!1956TV SeriesHimself
Texaco Star Theatre1951-1956TV SeriesHimself - Comedian / Himself - Singer
The Eddie Cantor Comedy Theater1955TV SeriesHimself / Host / Occasional Lead Player / ...
The Ed Sullivan Show1952-1955TV SeriesHimself
The Colgate Comedy Hour1950-1954TV SeriesHimself - Host / Himself / Himself - Comic Actor
This Is Your Life1953TV SeriesHimself
The Dennis Day Show1953TV SeriesHimself - Performer

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards2013TV SpecialHimself - Former SAG and AFTRA President
Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1930s: Dancing Away the Great Depression2009Video documentaryHimself
The Dawn of Sound: How Movies Learned to Talk2007Video documentaryHimself
Great Performances2003-2005TV SeriesHimself
Broadway: The American Musical2004TV Mini-Series documentaryHenry Williams
Biography1996-2001TV Series documentaryHimself
American Masters1997-2001TV Series documentaryHimself
Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream1998TV Movie documentaryHimself
100 Years at the Movies1994TV Short documentaryHimself
Legends of Comedy1992TV Movie documentary
The 1930's: Music, Memories & Milestones1988Video documentaryHimself - with Shirley Temple
Entertaining the Troops1988DocumentaryHimself
The Great Standups1984TV Movie documentaryHimself
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter1982TV Movie documentaryActor - Unidentified Film (uncredited)
The 31st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1979TV SpecialHimself
Bob Hope's World of Comedy1976TV MovieTribute Montage
Texaco Presents: A Quarter Century of Bob Hope on Television1975TV SpecialHimself
Brother Can You Spare a Dime1975Documentary
Fred Astaire Salutes the Fox Musicals1974TV MovieHimself
The Great Radio Comedians1972TV Movie documentaryEddie Cantor
Hollywood My Home Town1965DocumentaryHimself
The DuPont Show of the Week1961TV SeriesHimself
Yesterday and Today1953
Minstrel Days1941ShortEddie: edited from 'Roman Scandals'
The Great American Broadcast1941Himself - Opening Montage (uncredited)

Awards

Won Awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovie
1963Life Achievement AwardScreen Actors Guild Awards
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 8 February 1960. At 6648 Hollywood Blvd.
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameTelevisionOn 8 February 1960. At 1770 Vine Street.
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameRadioOn 8 February 1960. At 6765 Hollywood Blvd.
1957Honorary AwardAcademy Awards, USAFor distinguished service to the film industry.

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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