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GEORGE JESSEL - AUTOGRAPH - HFSID 342962

GEORGE JESSEL The legendary speaker and humanitarian signs his name for child actor Billy Seay in pencil Signature: "George/ Jessel" in pencil. 1 page, 6x4½. GEORGE JESSEL (1898-1981, born in New York City), who

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GEORGE JESSEL
The legendary speaker and humanitarian signs his name for child actor Billy Seay in pencil
Signature: "George/ Jessel" in pencil. 1 page, 6x4½. GEORGE JESSEL (1898-1981, born in New York City), who became known as the "Toastmaster General of the United States" for his frequent role as Master of Ceremonies at entertainment and political gatherings, appeared in vaudeville (he was a partner of Eddie Cantor at age 11) and on Broadway before having a radio show, That's My Kid. Jessel, who had done several silent films for Warner Bros., starred on Broadway in The Jazz Singer, but when the studio refused to meet his salary demands for the film, he turned down the movie role, which eventually went to Al Jolson. The Jazz Singer, of course, is the first official "talkie". By 1945, Jessel, who was well known for his Broadway and nightclub work, was producing musicals for 20th Century-Fox. One of the original founding members of the California branch of the Friars Club (1946), Jessel also traveled widely to raise funds for various causes and entertained troops overseas as part of the U.S.O. In 1969, he was awarded the Jean Hershold Humanitarian Award, a special Oscar, for his charity work. Jessel, who was married to actress Norma Talmadge from 1934-1939, wrote two volumes of memoirs, So Help Me(1943) and This Way, Miss (1955), and also wrote eulogies for many of his Hollywood contemporaries. From the album collection of child actor BILLY SEAY (1922-2012), who appeared in many films throughout the decade including The Greater Glory (1926), My Man (1928), and The Marriage Playground (1929). Seay would leave Hollywood in the early 1930s to become a noted artist and illustrator. Toned and soiled. Light surface creases. Corners rounded. Pencil notes in bottom margin. Small stains throughout. Otherwise, fine condition.

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