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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Reproduction Autograph

I have been looking at autographed photographs of some of the cast of the 1939 Wizard of Oz and many times prices exceed what I am willing to spend at the time and honestly for the longest time I "looked down my nose" at reproduction autographs until I realized the only one who will know that they are is me.

Prices can be VERY affordable and with that said one could gather quite an impressive set of the same star if they wanted to. So until the right time comes along and the right autographed photograph comes along I am happy to say for now I have some reproductions.

With that said this one in particular I have been looking at his for a long time and usually prices go way high for originals. Burt Lahr for me as the Cowardly Lion has been the character i most identify with until John Fricke came along slapped me upside my head (not literally of course) and said Charlie you have so much courage its unreal--I guess that makes John my personal Wizard Of Oz for pointing that out.

Born Irving Lahrheim in New York City , Lahr is best remembered today for his role as the Cowardly Lion and the Kansas farm worker Zeke in the classic 1939 movie The Wizard Of Oz, but known during his life for a career in burlesque, vaudeville and Broadway.

Lahr grew up in the Yorkville section of Manhattan. Dropping out of school at the age of fifteen to join a juvenile vaudeville act, Lahr worked his way up to top billing on the Columbia Burlesque Circuit. In 1927 he debuted on Broadway in Harry Delmar's Revels. Lahr played to packed houses, performing classic routines such as "The Song of the Woodman" (which he later 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). Several other musicals followed, notably Flying High (1930), Florenz Ziegfeld's Hot-Cha! (1932), The Show Is On (1936), and in DuBarry Was a Lady (1939)


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. 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. 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.
Later life
Lahr occasionally appeared on television, including NBC's live version of the Cole Porter musical Let's Face It (1954) and an appearance as the mystery guest on What's My Line? He also performed in commercials, including a memorable series for Lay's Potato Chips during its long-running "Betcha can't eat just one" campaign with Lahr as "Aunt Tillie".
"Laughter is never too far away from tears," he reflected on his comedy. "You will cry at a peddler much easier than you would cry at a woman dressed in ermine who had just lost her whole family."
In 1967, Lahr died of pneumonia in New York City in the middle of filming The Night They Raided Minsky's, forcing producers to use a double in several scenes. Fittingly, this last role was as a burlesque comic. Lahr is buried at Union Field Cemetery in Ridgewood, Queens.
His son, New Yorker theater critic John Lahr, wrote a biography of his father's life titled Notes on a Cowardly Lion.

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