Eddie Cantor (American, 1892–1964)

Cantor was a singer, actor, comedian, dancer, producer, songwriter, and writer. Early television audiences treated him like a family member because his top-rated shows where he revealed humorous stories about his wife and five daughters. His trademark was using his eyes, rolling and exaggerating them for his routines.

By his teens, Cantor was performing on Coney Island and in vaudeville and developed a blackface personality. He then made it to Broadway with the Ziegfeld Follies. Cantor became widely known as a radio personality in the 1930s, becoming the highest paid radio host at the time and appearing in several movies. In 1950, he became the first of several hosts in The Colgate Comedy Hour where he caused a controversy by embracing Sammy Davis Jr. and booking him for more performances when the network threatened to cancel his show.