Banjo Eyes: Eddie Cantor and the Birth of Modern Stardom

By Herbert G. Goldman | Go to book overview

Chapter 11

"WE'RE HAVING A BABY"

"The stage was his medium." --Natalie Cantor Clary

Cantor appeared unconcerned about his sudden and forced exit from the airwaves. Deep inside, he fought to keep his fears in check, to keep the demons from "doing something to him" that would destroy what remained of his still viable career. For the most part, he succeeded.

Eddie's unflappable demeanor was born, in part, of the old actor's belief that the time to put one's best foot forward and deny life's problems is when things are at their worst. Also, he believed that he was in the right -- a political show biz martyr in the fight against right-wing religious bigots such as Father Coughlin and the Nazi hordes who were their (welcome or not) allies. He had been careful not to worry his four younger daughters when the market crashed ten years before. Now his confident manner was displayed, not just for them, but for the public. Commiserating with a country that had been through the worst market plunge in history was one thing. A major star's having what amounted to "sponsor trouble" was another. Eddie's answer was to totally ignore not having his own radio show-- in public and at home.

In contrast, Margie worried, seeming to carry the burden of every negative thought so that her father could remain the same seemingly optimistic "Apostle of Pep" he had been as far back as she could remember.

If her sisters complained about the food at any meal, Margie would explain that they had to cut down on expenses. She -- they -- the entire household had to pitch in during what she saw as a true crisis. In fact, the family finances were in good shape thanks to Eddie's mammoth (by the standards of the '30s) earnings since the 1929 crash. But Margie's fierce devotion to her father would not let her find peace. She seemed, in fact,

-212-

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Banjo Eyes: Eddie Cantor and the Birth of Modern Stardom
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Prologue - More Than Meets the Eyes xi
  • Chapter 1 - The Bubba and Her Itchik 3
  • Chapter 2 - The Turning 20
  • Chapter 3 - The Climb 36
  • Chapter 4 - The Follies 57
  • Chapter 5 - Of Equity and Shuberts 75
  • Chapter 6 - Kid Boots 94
  • Chapter 7 - Whoopee 116
  • Chapter 8 - Eyes on the Medium 135
  • Chapter 9 - The Peak 158
  • Chapter 10 - "Before L' Ma Performer. . ." 183
  • Chapter 11 - "We'Re Having a Baby" 212
  • Chapter 12 - The Other Madonna 229
  • Chapter 13 - Colgate Comedy Hour 256
  • Chapter 14 - "... and You Have to Give It All Back " 282
  • Epiloeue - "0ld Perf0rmers Never Die . . ." 308
  • Notes 313
  • Bibliography - Books by Eddie Cantor (chronologically Arranged) 316
  • Stageography 317
  • Filmography 356
  • Radiography 370
  • Televisionograpghy 377
  • Discography 381
  • Index 395
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