Eddie Cantor

Highest Rated: 100% Whoopee (1930)
Lowest Rated: 20% Rhapsody in Blue (2001)
Birthday: Jan 31, 1892
Birthplace: Not Available
Entertainer Eddie Cantor, he of the "banjo eyes" and boundless hyperkinetic energy, was born on New York's Lower East Side to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. Orphaned early on, Eddie was raised by his maternal grandmother Esther, who supported herself and her grandson as a door-to-door peddler. After winning $5 at a Bowery Theatre Amateur Night, the teenaged Cantor knew where his destiny lay. He lived a hand-to-mouth existence as a vaudeville performer, singing waiter, and blackface comedian in Gus Edwards' famous schoolroom ensemble act. Though moderately successful as a comic singer, Cantor didn't truly hit the big time until he was hired for Ziegfeld's Midnight Frolics in 1916. He stayed with the Ziegfeld Follies throughout the 1920s, and also starred in the producer's "book" shows Kid Boots and Whoopee. In addition to his expertly timed comic patter, Cantor achieved fame by introducing such songs as "If You Knew Susie," "Dinah," "Makin' Whoopee," and of course, "Ida," a paean to his wife of 49 years, Ida Tobias. After making his movie debut in a DeForest Phonofilm talking short subject in 1922, Cantor starred in a brace of enjoyable silent films, Kid Boots (1926) and Special Delivery (1927). His best Hollywood years were spent under contract to Samuel Goldwyn, where Eddie turned out one big-budget musical comedy per year between 1930 and 1936: Whoopee (1930), Palmy Days (1931), The Kid From Spain (1932), Roman Scandals (1933), Kid Millions (1934), and Strike Me Pink (1936). Unfortunately, most of his post-Goldwyn films seemed like hokey, outdated rehashes of his earlier films. Though his movie career faltered, Cantor remained popular throughout the 1940s on his long-running radio program, where he clowned with such stooges as announcer Harry Von Zell, violinist Rubinoff, and Bert "Mad Russian" Gordon. The offstage Cantor was not perfect, but most of the man's character flaws have been forgotten in the light of his inexhaustible work on behalf of dozens of charities, most prominently the March of Dimes. He also regularly put his career on the line through his union activities with Actors Equity, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Radio Artists, and flew in the face of bigotry and anti-Semitics through his work with the B'nai Brith and Jewish Relief. Though slowed down by a heart attack in 1953, Cantor kept his hand in whenever possible, even hosting a 38-week syndicated TV variety series, The Eddie Cantor Comedy Theatre. In 1953, Eddie Cantor was the subject of the Warner Bros. biopic The Eddie Cantor Story.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1920s Actor 2009
No Score Yet Great Performances Actor 2005
20% Rhapsody in Blue Actor 2001
No Score Yet Lucy: Queen of Comedy Actor 1990
No Score Yet The Story of Will Rogers Himself 1952
No Score Yet If You Knew Susie Sam Parker Producer 1948
67% Ziegfeld Follies Screenwriter 1946
No Score Yet Show Business Producer Eddie Martin 1944
No Score Yet Hollywood Canteen Himself 1944
No Score Yet Thank Your Lucky Stars Himself/Joe Simpson 1943
No Score Yet Ali Baba Goes to Town Ali Baba 1937
No Score Yet Strike Me Pink Eddie Pink 1936
No Score Yet Kid Millions Eddie Wilson Jr. 1934
No Score Yet Roman Scandals Eddie/Oedipus 1933
No Score Yet The Kid from Spain Eddie Williams 1932
No Score Yet Palmy Days Eddie Simpson Screenwriter 1931
100% Whoopee Henry Williams 1930
No Score Yet Glorifying the American Girl Himself, performing in revue 1929
No Score Yet Kid Boots Kid Boots 1926
No Score Yet Eddie Cantor Actor


No Score Yet Great Performances
  • 2005