Date of Birth : Aug 13th 1895

American of German-Jewish heritage Tony Award-winning comic actor and vaudeville comedian. Lahr made his feature film debut in 1931’s Flying High, playing the part of the oddball aviator he had previously played on stage. He signed with New York-based Educational Pictures for a series of two-reel comedies. When that series ended, he came back to Hollywood to work in feature films. Aside from The Wizard of Oz (1939), his movie career was limited. In the 1944 patriotic film Meet the People, Lahr uttered the phrase “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” which was later popularized by cartoon character Snagglepuss.

Lahr’s movie career never caught on because his gestures and reactions were too broad. Unlike other burlesque comedians like Milton Berle, Ed Wynn and Phil Silvers, Lahr was never able to parlay this ‘over-the-top’ style into a character that would fit in better in the movies.

His later life was troubled, although he made the transition to straight theatre. He costarred in a much-praised version of Waiting for Godot in 1956 at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, Florida in which he played Estragon to Tom Ewell’s Vladimir. Lahr thought of himself as the top banana in the production, telling Ewell “not to crowd him.” When Beckett learned of this, he complained that the play was being taken away from his major character, Vladimir. Lahr later played Estragon in the play’s short-lived Broadway run.

Among other Broadway roles, Lahr played Queen Victoria in a sketch from the musical Two on the Aisle. He also 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 the late 1950s, Lahr supplied the voice of an animated bloodhound in Old Whiff, a short cartoon produced by Mike Todd which featured the olfactory Smell-O-Vision process developed for Todd’s feature film Scent of Mystery (1960). . In 1963, he appeared as Go-Go Garrity in the episode “Is Mr. Martian Coming Back” on NBC’s medical drama The Eleventh Hour. In 1964 he won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his role in the musical Foxy




submit a link