lunes, 29 de agosto de 2011

Eddie Cantor


Eddie Cantor (January 31, 1892 – October 10, 1964) was an American "illustrated song" performer, comedian, dancer, singer, actor and songwriter. Familiar to Broadway, radio, movie and early television audiences, this "Apostle of Pep" was regarded almost as a family member by millions because his top-rated radio shows revealed intimate stories and amusing anecdotes about his wife Ida and five daughters. Some of his hits include "Makin' Whoopee", "Ida", "If You Knew Susie", "Ma! He's Makin' Eyes at Me", "Margie" and "How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree?)" He also wrote a few songs, including "Merrily We Roll Along", the Merrie Melodies Warner Bros. cartoon theme.
His eye-rolling song-and-dance routines eventually led to his nickname, "Banjo Eyes". In 1933, the artist Frederick J. Garner caricatured Cantor with large round eyes resembling the drum-like pot of a banjo. Cantor's eyes became his trademark, often exaggerated in illustrations, and leading to his appearance on Broadway in the musical Banjo Eyes (1941).
His charity and humanitarian work was extensive, and he is credited with coining the phrase and helping to develop The March of Dimes.
Cantor was born Edward Israel Iskowitz  in New York City, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Meta and Mechel Iskowitz. His mother died in childbirth one year after his birth, and his father died of pneumonia when Eddie was two, leaving him to be raised by his beloved grandmother, Esther Kantrowitz. As a child, he attended Surprise Lake Camp.[4] A misunderstanding when signing her grandson for school gave him her last name of Kantrowitz (shortened by the clerk to Kanter). Esther died on January 29, 1917, two days before he signed a long-term contract with Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. to appear in his Follies.

He had adopted the first name "Eddie" when he met his future wife Ida Tobias in 1903, because she felt that "Izzy" wasn't the right name for an actor. Cantor married Ida in 1914. They (famously) had five daughters, Marjorie, Natalie, Edna, Marilyn and Janet, who provided comic fodder for Cantor's longtime running gag, especially on radio, about his five unmarriageable daughters. Several radio historians, including Gerald Nachman (Raised on Radio), have said that this gag did not always sit well with the girls.
He was the second president of the Screen Actors Guild, serving from 1933-1935. He invented the title "The March of Dimes" for the donation campaigns of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which was organized to combat polio. It was a play on the March of Time newsreels popular at the time. 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 assumed 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.
Following the death of daughter Marjorie at the age of 44, both Eddie's and Ida's health declined rapidly. Ida died in August 1962 of "cardiac insufficiency". On October 10, 1964 in Beverly Hills, California, Eddie Cantor suffered another heart attack and died, aged 72. He is buried in Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery. Cantor was awarded an honorary Academy Award the year of his death, for distinguished service to the film industry.



Eddie Cantor (31 de enero de 1892 - 10 de octubre de 1964) fue un actor, comediante, cantante y compositor estadounidense. Familiar al público de Broadway, de la radio y de las primeras emisiones televisivas, fue recibido como un miembro más de la familia por millones de espectadores gracias a que en sus programas radiofónicos revelaba historias íntimas y anécdotas divertidas sobre su esposa Ida y sus cinco hijos. El movimiento de sus ojos cuando cantaba y bailaba le valieron el mote de Banjo Eyes (Ojos de banjo) y, en 1933, el artista Frederick J. Garner caricaturizó a Cantor con grandes y redondos ojos blancos que parecían un banjo. Los ojos de Cantor se convirtieron en su seña de identidad, a menudo exagerados en las ilustraciones, y originando su actuación en Broadway en el musical Banjo Eyes (1941).
Su verdadero nombre era Israel Iskowitz,1 y nació en Nueva York, siendo sus padres los inmigrantes de origen ruso y judío, Meta y Mechel Iskowitz. Su madre falleció a causa de un cáncer de pulmón dos años después de su nacimiento, y su padre le abandonó, por lo que fue criado por au abuela, Esther Kantrowitz. Un error cuando era inscrito en la escuela le cambió el nombre a Kantrowitz (posteriormente americanizado a "Cantor") en vez de Iskowitz. De niño asistió al Surprise Lake Camp.
En su primera adolescencia. Cantor empezó a ganar concursos de talentos en teatros locales y empezó a actuar en la escena. Uno de sus primeros trabajos remunerados fue como camarero y como cantante, cantando por propinas en un local de Carey Walsh en Coney Island, en el cual un joven Jimmy Durante le acompañaba al piano. Adoptó el nombre de Eddie cuando conoció a su futura esposa, Ida Tobias, en 1903, pues a ella le agradaba la idea de tener un novio llamado Eddie. Se casaron en 1914 y permanecieron unidos hasta el fallecimiento de Ida en 1962.

En 1907, Cantor se hizo un puesto en el vodevil. En 1912 fue el único cantante mayor de 20 años en actuar en la pieza de Gus Edwards' Kid Kabaret, en la cual interpretó su primer personaje con la cara pintada de negro, Jefferson. La buena crítica del show llamó la atención del más importante productor de Broadway, Florenz Ziegfeld, que dio a Cantor la oportunidad de intervenir en su espectáculo Midnight Frolic (1916).

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