A giant in the history of American entertainment, Eddie Cantor (1892-1964) won over the American public time and time again, first on stage, bowling audiences over in the Ziegfeld Follies, then in films, on the radio, and on television. His career ran from Vaudeville to video making all stops in between. A tireless person even when not on the stage, Cantor helped found the March of Dimes, and was the first national president of the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG), the American Federation of Radio Artists (later AFTRA), and the Jewish Theatrical Guild.
Yet another medium in which Cantor succeeded was print. He authored and co-authored several books that upheld his standing as one of America's leading comedians. My Life Is In Your Hands & Take My Life combines for the first time in a single volume two memoirs written in 1928 and 1957, in which Eddie remembers his beginnings as an orphan on the Lower East Side and his hard-won climb from poverty to the bright lights of Broadway. The book also contains a lost chapter in which Eddie recalls his reactions to the stock market crash of 1929, along with a new complete index, discography, and filmography.
In My Life Is In Your Hands & Take My Life, Cantor's humor is as sharp as ever and his sentiment is 100% genuine. While not at all modest about his decades of public adoration, Cantor shows a willingness to laugh at his blunders (such as his second film, "Special Delivery"), and to praise the many talented people with whom he collaborated. Along with telling the story of show business in the first half of the 20th century, Cantor also lets readers in on fond stories of his friends, from Jimmy Durante (who worked as a pianist in the Coney Island restaurant where Cantor was a singing waiter), to Ziegfeld alumni Will Rogers and W. C. Fields, to fellow entertainers Clara Bow and Fanny Brice. [via]