Thursday, March 17, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jack Gilford

Artist:Jack Gilford
Album:Cabaret: Original Cast Recording

Character actor Jack Gilford had a long career in films, TV and Broadway despite being blacklisted in the 50s. You don't know his name but you would know him if his face appeared on your TV. He starred in the 1966 original Broadway production of Cabaret. He was born Jacob Gellman July, 25, 1907 in New York City the son of Romanian Jewish immigrants. His father was a furrier and his mother owned a restaurant and supposedly was a bootlegger. Gilford was working in a pharmacy when he was discovered by Milton Berle and Gilford became known for impressions. His big break came in 1938 when he was hired to be the emcee at the new club Cafe Society. He did standup comedy. While doing this, he also appeared in a few Broadway shows and movies. In the early 50s, Gilford and wife Madeline Lee testified at the HUAC hearings. They were labeled as Communist sympathizers and blacklisted. When things eased up in the late 50s, Gilford was finally able to find work. His big break came as Hysterium in the 1963 Broadway show A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. He was nominated for a Tony and then reprised his role in the 1966 film. So this got Gilford back on the radar and he was also Tony nominated for playing Herr Schultz in the 1966 production of Cabaret. Gilford worked a lot on TV but he is probably best known for a series of memorable Cracker Jack commercials. He was also nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the 1973 film Save The Tiger. Gilford did many TV guest shots until his death on June 4, 1990 at age 82. He and his wife were married for 40 years. Here's a video of Jack Gilford performing Meeskite from the 1966 Broadway show Cabaret.

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