AL JOLSON (personality)

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Al Jolson was a legendary actor/singer from the 1910s to the 1940s. He started in vaudeville, performing in minstrel shows in blackface, and later was the number one star of Broadway in the 1920s, and was called "the world's greatest entertainer", and Warner Bros. chose him to star in the first "talking movie", The Jazz Singer, which was based on a play about Jolson's life (but oddly, George Jessel played the role on Broadway!). He had a string of hit movies in the 1930s, and he married Ruby Keeler, and as her star ascended, his declined (see "A Star is Born", for a story loosely based on their marriage). During World War II, he entertained the troops overseas, and afterwards, he was "re-discovered", and a musical biography of his life was made, "The Jolson Story", with Larry Parks in the lead role, lip synching Jolson's own singing, and a sequel was made, "Jolson Sings Again". He passed away in 1950 at the age of 64.
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