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George Jessel Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (3) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (4)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameGeorge Albert Jessel
Nicknames Toastmaster General of the United States
Georgie

Mini Bio (2)

George Jessel gained fame in vaudeville, where it was not uncommon for him--and other performers, such as Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor--to perform in blackface, and in fact at age 11 Jessel was Cantor's vaudeville partner. Jessel acted in several movies in the '30s and became a respected film producer. He was also a prolific songwriter, and was noted for his renditions of "Sonny Boy" and "My Yiddishe Mama". In his later years he made many guest appearances (always as himself) on radio, in occasional movies and on TV. He was nicknamed "The Toastmaster General" due to his appearances at many testimonial functions and dinners for various celebrities.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bill Takacs <kinephile@aol.com>

Entertainer, composer, songwriter ("My Mother's Eyes"), producer and actor, educated in public schools and a singer (at age nine) with Gus Edwards acts. In 1915 he toured the British Isles, and became known as the "Boy Monologist" in vaudeville by 1917. He appeared in the Broadway productions of "The Shubert Gaieties," "George Jessel's Troubles," "The Jazz Singer," "The War Song," (which he co-authored), "Joseph and His Brethren," and "High Kickers." With Eddie Cantor, he did a vaudeville tour, and eventually became an after-dinner speaker. Joining ASCAP in 1937, his chief musical collaborators included Harry Ruby, 'Ben Oakland', Herb Magidson, Milton Drake, William White, and Roy Turk. His popular-song compositions include "Stop Kicking My Heart Around," "And He'd Say Oo-La-La Wee Wee," "Oh How I Laugh When I Think How I Cried About You," "Roses in December," "You'll Be Reminded of Me," "If I Ever Lost You," "Julie," "Dreamland Rendezvous," and "As Long As I Love."

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Hup234!

Spouse (3)

Lois Andrews (13 April 1940 - 30 August 1943) (divorced) (1 child)
Norma Talmadge (23 April 1934 - 11 August 1939) (divorced)
Florence Courtney (22 May 1923 - 24 October 1932) (divorced)

Trade Mark (1)

Theme song: "My Mother's Eyes."

Trivia (13)

Because of his frequent role as master of ceremonies at various entertainment and political gatherings, his sobriquet was "Toastmaster General of the United States."
Performed eulogies for many of his Hollywood celebrity contemporaries.
Is one of the inspirations for Billy West's voice for "Dr. Zoidberg" on the TV show Futurama (1999).
His theme song, "My Mother's Eyes" (music by L. Wolfe Gilbert, lyrics by Abel Baer), was introduced in his first sound film, Lucky Boy (1928)).
Having starred in several silent films for Warner Brothers during the 1920s, Jessel was offered the lead in the studio's history-making first talkie, The Jazz Singer (1927) (he had played the part on Broadway). However, he and the studio could not agree on his salary, and the role ultimately went to Al Jolson. Jessel would refer to this, time and again, as the biggest professional mistake he ever made.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 227-228. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Hosted the Academy Awards in 1937.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 428-429. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
Daughter with wife Lois Andrews: Jerilyn Jessel.
Ex-son-in-law of Margaret Talmadge.
Ex-brother-in-law of Natalie Talmadge and Constance Talmadge.
Daughter Charris Carla Jessel born December 27, 1961 to Joan Tyler Ruffo.
In 1968 he was interviewed in "The Great Comedians Talk About Comedy" by Larry Wilde.

Personal Quotes (3)

My draft status is 8-T - that means I go when the Japs are in the lobby.
[on receiving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, 1969)] For a minute I thought I was dead. I've waited a long time, but it shows that God's delay is not God's denial.
If you haven't struck oil in your first three minutes, stop boring.

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