A Al Jolson
did not star in either of the musicals and was portrayed in both by American actor Larry Parks.
To a visiting American, Haji Firuz looks very much like a minstrel climbing out of a Mississippi riverboat show of the 19th Century, or Al Jolson
about to perform a rendition of "Maaaammie."
Theatre credits include Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and a turn as Al Jolson
in the Olivier Award-winning Jolson at the Victoria Palace Theatre.
This historic 1927 movie was based on play drawn from the real-life story of Al Jolson
, who would later play the character he inspired.
What constitutes Jewish humor--from Al Jolson
and the Marx brothers to "wild women" comedians and Woody Allen--is taken seriously, and its roots are traced back to the immigrant experience, parodies in rabbinic literature, and Job and other biblical stories.
The picture had been taken in 1937 when Braun was 25, and she had captioned the image "Me as Al Jolson
as thrilling as my father's baritone booming along with Al Jolson
The guy in blackface has to be Al Jolson
, who starred in the movie as a Jewish boy whose father, a cantor, wanted him to give up his career on the popular stage and succeed him.
Q WHEN I was 10 I was a great fan of Al Jolson
. I wrote to his fan club and was sent a photograph signed "Sincerely Al Jolson
In the Roaring Twenties, Al Jolson
was the world's most dynamic performer and for those who saw him in his fabulous pomp (like George Burns, who lasted long enough to work with Sinatra and Elvis) he was truly The Greatest, the Performer of the Century.
Rigid, ineffectual fathers contrasted with supportive, better-adapted mothers who bolstered their sons' transition to American life in such early depictions as the Al Jolson
film The Jazz Singer (1927).
When Jolson Was King: Sittin' On Top Of The World by musical historian and biographer Richard Grudens is the engaging life story of the life and remarkable rise to fame of world famous actor, singer and entertainer Al Jolson
. When Jolson Was King showcases Jolson's wonderful career, including his personal and professional relationships with Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Patty Andrews, Jack Benny, George Jessel and so many more figures in the Hollywood of his day.
Davis and Heilbroner also offer clips of celebrity whistlers (such as Al Jolson
, Harpo Marx and, fleetingly, Elvis Presley), and acknowledge the dark side by including Peter Lorre's sinister trilling from Fritz Lang's "M" (1931).
Still, it's one of the most in-depth looks at Broadway ever attempted, and cowriter director producer Michael Kantor dutifully covers the high points--if he doesn't speak to stars like Carol Channing, Harvey Fierstein, Ethel Merman, Nathan Lane, Stephen Sondheim, Fred Ebb, Al Jolson
, Tommy Tune, Chita Rivera, Joel Grey, and countless others, you can be certain you'll see clips of them performing.