Bert Lahr (1895-1967) will always be remembered as the Cowardly Lion in THE WIZARD OF OZ. Yet his most brilliant triumph, and his most surprising, came as Estragon in the 1956 American premiere of Samuel Beckett’s WAITING FOR GODOT. One could make the argument that the film and the play have more in common than first meets the eye (think: what if there isn’t a phony wizard behind the curtain, but no one at all), but I won’t do that this morning. What I will do is say that acclaimed drama critic John Lahr’s 1969 book about his famous father, NOTES ON A COWARDLY LION, grasps the slippery essences of ambition, talent, comedy, family, and love with sure and steady hands, portraying the psychological demands of both onstage artistry and offstage uncertainty with insight and clear-eyed affection; it's an absorbing and poignant testament. #1000bookstoreadbeforeyoudie#bertlahr#johnlahr#cowardlylion#wizardofoz#waitingforgodot
“After The Wizard of Oz, I was typecast as a lion, and there aren't all that many parts for lions.” -Bert Lahr
Happy Birthday to Bert Lahr who was born today in 1895. Here he is as The Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939).
Whenever I think of Bert Lahr, I see the Cowardly Lion growling "Put 'em up! Put 'em up!" at a quivering Tin Man and a Scarecrow. Lahr was actually born Irving Lahrheim on August 13, 1895 in Yorkville, New York to German immigrant parents. He grew up in extreme poverty, dropped out of school at a young age and in 1910 a friend invited Lahr to be a part of a burlesque act, "The Seven Frolics." While the show wasn't a success, Lahr had discovered his career path. It was not until 1922, however, that Lahr gained entry into a successful burlesque circuit and began his ascent to stardom by becoming the lead comic in numerous burlesque shows. In 1922 he met Mercedes, a dancer who became his partner and wife. The two moved to the vaudeville circuit Orpheum Time, which was considered a step above burlesque. Vaudeville led to A highly successful Broadway career for Lahr starting in 1927 with Harry Delmar's Revels. For several years he played the lead comic role in musical comedies. Lahr even performed in Florenz Ziegfeld's last spectacle in 1932. In 1938, Lahr's ambition led him to Hollywood. He made five films that year. Unfortunately, Lahr's comedy, was not effective on the screen. He was a broad comedian, used to playing to large audiences, and the subtlety demanded by the camera seemed to diminish his talents. During Lahr's career he made twenty full length films, but only one stands out and displays his true abilities - it is the part he will always be remembered for: the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. It was different from his other films because he was allowed to be a large acrobatically comic on film. His performance in The Wizard of Oz was lovable, heroic, funny and made him immortal. Lahr appeared in a total of 18 Broadway shows from 1927 through 1964. He won Broadway's 1964 Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical) for "Foxy". Lahr died on December 4 at the age of 75. The most complete biography on Bert Lahr is "Notes on a Cowardly Lion" by his son, John Lahr.
Vaudevillian, Burlesque Comedian, Actor, Dancer, and Singer Bert Lahr. Irving Lahrheim (August 13, 1895 – December 4, 1967) was an American actor of stage and screen, vaudevillian and comedian. Lahr is best known for his role as the Cowardly Lion, as well as his counterpart Kansas farmworker Zeke, in The Wizard of Oz (1939). He was well known for his explosive humor, but also adapted well to dramatic roles and his work in burlesque, vaudeville, and on Broadway. Lahr worked up to top billing on the Columbia Burlesque Circuit. In 1927 he debuted on Broadway in Delmar's Revels. He played to packed houses, performing classic routines such as "The Song of the Woodman" (which he reprised in the film Merry-Go-Round of 1938). Lahr had his first major success in a stage musical playing the prize fighter hero of Hold Everything! (1928–29). Other musicals followed, notably Flying High (1930), Florenz Ziegfeld's Hot-Cha! (1932) and The Show is On (1936) in which he co-starred with Beatrice Lillie. In 1939, he co-starred as Louis Blore alongside Ethel Merman in the Broadway production of DuBarry Was a Lady. The Wizard of Oz" was Lahr's 17th movie. When warned that Hollywood had a habit of typecasting actors, Lahr replied, "Yeah, but how many parts are there for lions?"
He performed as Moonface Martin in a television version of Anything Goes, with Ethel Merman reprising her role as Reno Sweeney and Frank Sinatra as Billy Crocker.
In 1964 he won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his role in the musical Foxy. #bertlahr#actor#comedian#dancer#singer#burlesque#vaudeville#broadway#stage#film#radioshow#television#thewizardofoz#cowardlylion#mgm#technicolor#landofoz#emeraldcity#kansas#televisioncommercial#layschips#notesonacowardlylion#johnlahr
"If at some deep level the relationship between Haley and Lahr made Ray Bolger an outsider, it's only outward manifestation was in the kids of jokes the three played on each other. "Hey, do you want to have some fun?" Lahr would ask Haley. That fun would consist of dangling in front od Bolger a verbal bait that his personality would not allow him to refuse - Bolger always found it necessary to be verbal top dog"- taken from 'The Wizard Of Oz FAQ: All That's Left To Know About Life, According To Oz'
Happy 123rd birthday, Bert Lahr!
Looking past the troubles, Lahr was a fabulous entertainer that made us laugh!
📷: Ray with Bert and Jack Haley, dressed as the three farm hands, Hunk, Hickory and Zeke, on set of Oz♡
- Bueno, Dorothy, deja de imaginar cosas. Siempre te preocupas por nada. Ayúdanos hoy y encuentra un lugar en donde no te metas en problemas.
- Algún lugar donde no haya problemas. ¿Supones que haya tal lugar, Toto? Debe haber. No es un lugar donde puedas llegar en bote o tren. Es muy, muy lejos... detrás de la luna, más allá de la lluvia, en algún lugar, más allá del arco iris... ➰➰➰➰➰➰➰➰➰➰➰➰➰➰➰➰➰
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Bert Lahr (1895–1967)
Born this day August 13, 1895 in New York City, New York, USA.
Seen here as The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz (1939).
Judy Garland heard of Lahr's death as she was about to go on stage in Las Vegas. At her performance that night, she dedicated "Over the Rainbow" to the memory of Lahr, or, as she referred to him on that occasion, "my beloved Cowardly Lion."
Bert Lahr was an American actor of stage and screen, vaudevillian and comedian. Lahr is best known for his role as the Cowardly Lion, as well as his counterpart Kansas farmworker Zeke, in The Wizard of Oz.
Actor and Comedian Jack Haley. John Joseph Haley Jr (August 10, 1897 – June 6, 1979) was an American vaudevillian, actor, radio host, comedian, singer and dancer best known for his portrayal of the Tin Man in the classic 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz. Haley headlined in vaudeville as a song-and-dance comedian. One of his closest friends was Fred Allen, who would frequently mention "Mr. Jacob Haley of Newton Highlands, Massachusetts" on the air. In the early 1930s, Haley starred in comedy shorts for Vitaphone in Brooklyn, New York. His wide-eyed, good-natured expression gained him supporting roles in musical feature films, including Poor Little Rich Girl with Shirley Temple, Higher and Higher with Frank Sinatra and the Irving Berlin musical Alexander's Ragtime Band. Both Poor Little Rich Girl and Alexander's Ragtime Band were released by Twentieth Century-Fox. Haley was under contract to them and appeared in the Fox films Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and Pigskin Parade, marking his first appearance with Judy Garland. Haley hosted a radio show from 1937 to 1939 known to many as The Jack Haley Show.
He married Florence McFadden (1902–1996), a native of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania on February 25, 1921; “I met her casually” Jack recalled. “As show people often do, and we became inseparable.” They remained married until his death. Flo Haley opened a successful beauty shop and had many film personalities among her clients. The couple had a son, Jack Haley Jr. (1933–2001), who became a successful film producer, and a daughter, Gloria (1923–2010). In 1974, the younger Haley married entertainer Liza Minnelli, the daughter of his father's Oz co-star Judy Garland. The marriage ended in divorce in 1979. Jack Haley Jr. died on April 21, 2001. Gloria Haley-Parnassus died on May 1, 2010. #jackhaley#actor#comedian#thewizardofoz#tinman#mgm#technicolor#musical#fantasy#lfrankbaum#judygarland#raybolger#bertlahr#toto#yellowbrickroad#shirleytemple#20thcenturyfox#51stannualacademyawards#academyawards#jackhaleyjr#lizaminnelli
"As the Scarecrow, I had no ears. And there were bunches of straw in place of them...I couldn't hear a single thing, words or music, and my own voice sounded like somebody talking in a huge empty hall. An assistant director signaled the cues to me"- Ray Bolger, 1939
📷: a cute photo of Ray, Judy Garland and Bert Lahr, 1939♡
*credit to owner of photo*