Episode 31: Amanda Gari

© Josh Mills. All Rights Reserved.

Today on the Rarified Heir Podcast we are talking to Amanda Gari, actress, singer and impressionist who talks to us today about her grandfather Izzy Iskowitz, better known as Eddie Cantor. Starting in the 1920s until the late 1950s, Eddie Cantor was one of America’s biggest stars – from vaudeville to Broadway, from radio to television, from film to recorded music, there was arguably  no bigger star in the first half of the 20th Century than Eddie Cantor, the man they called “Banjo Eyes”. Amanda’s tales of growing up around her composer mother Jane Cantor Gari, actor/painter father Roberto Gari and her grandfather Eddie, we learn a great deal about what it was like growing up Cantor. We touch on names like W.C. Fields, Will Rogers, Fanny Brice, Sammy Davis Jr., Amy Sedaris, Judy Garland, Shelly Winters, Ronald Reagan and many more. We learn that Cantor co-wrote the theme tune to the iconic Warner Bros. cartoon Merry Melodies which began as “Merrily We Roll Along.” Cantor’s hyperkinetic energy and manic stage presence, are no match for Cantor’s generosity. He  started the March of Dimes charity at the behest of President Franklin Roosevelt, made the song “Making Whoopie” famous, whose stance against Hitler & fascism prior to WWII caused his sponsors to leave his radio program, how he was the first president of the Screen Actors Guild and how his influence made a hit out of the then-unknown song, “Santa Clause is Coming to Town.” But even knowing all that, the moment you won’t to miss is Amanda’s spot on impression of Flipper that really leaves you wanting more. On the next Rarified Heir Podcast.

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