Well, how much did you know about… That’s him with Burt Gordon above.
Did you know that jack-of-all-showbiz trades Eddie Cantor had a huge fan base in his time? In 1928, legend has it, Cantor actually received several thousand write-in votes in the presidential sweepstakes that elected Herbert Hoover. His name also turned up on ballots in another election for New Jersey governor.
The former Israel Iskowitz, born in New York City in 1892, certainly made the most of his somewhat limited talents. Like his pal, Georgie Jessel, he made much from relatively little.
In any case, Cantor was featured in some pleasantly show-bizzy movies (including 1943’s Thank Your Lucky Stars, 1952’s The Story of Will Rogers and, of course, 1953’s The Eddie Cantor Story). He also made his mark on radio and early television.
Ok, lets get to the answers to our Eddie Cantor Quiz.
1) Question: Eddie Cantor was offered the lead in the seminal film, 1927’s The Jazz Singer, but in a misguided move turned down the offer (the role, of course, went to Al Jolson). a) True; or b) False.
1) Answer: a) True. After his pal George Jessel turned down an offer for the lead in The Jazz Singer, Cantor was offered the part. He too gave it thumbs down. Cantor did, however, become a Hollywood luminary in 1930 with the screen version of Whoopee!
2) Question: In his comedy routines, Cantor often referred to his wife and the couple’s children. What was his wife’s first name and how many daughters did the couple have? a) Stella, 3; b) Ethel, 8; c) Ida, 5; or d) Hermione, 2).
2) Answer: c). Cantor often referred to his wife Ida in his monologues, and rarely failed to mention their five daughters: Marilyn, Marjorie, Natalie, Edna and Janet.
3) Question: Eddie Cantor inspired a big studio Hollywood biopic, in which he did not play himself. Who plays him in the picture? a) Jason Robards; b) Keefe Brasselle; c) Don Rickles; or d) Jack E. Leonard.
3) Answer: b) Keefe Brasselle played Cantor in this 1953 Warner Brothers biopic. Cantor pops up in a cameo, however.
4) Question: Cantor is remembered by his recurring character on which one of the following contemporary tv series? a) House of Cards; b) Boardwalk Empire; c) The Walking Dead; or d) Game of Thrones.
4) Answer: Cantor is a familiar character on several seasons of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, about Atlantic City and the mob in the 1920’s. He is well played by actor Stephen DeRosa.
5) Question: Which one of the following Broadway shows did Cantor NOT appear in? a) Banjo Eyes; b) Whoopee; c) Make It Snappy; or d) Bombo.
5) Answer: d) Bombo, an early Twenties tuner featuring a raft of tunes including Don’t Cry, Swanee. The star was Al Jolson.