Paul Muni, Al Jolson
Signed Album Page - 1933
Lovely autograph sentiment signed to child actor Gerald Cooper, dated October 30, 1933. Signed on reverse by actor Al Jolson, also inscribed to young Gerald.
PAUL MUNI (1895-1967) was an American Academy Award-winning and Tony Award-winning stage and film actor.
Muni began acting on Broadway in 1926. He was signed by Fox three years later, in 1929, and received an Oscar nomination for his first film The Valiant.
Muni was nominated for a total of five Academy Awards, an impressive number by any standard but all the more remarkable for Muni since he only appeared in twenty-five films throughout his career.
Muni was widely recognized as an eccentric if talented individual. He would go into a rage whenever anyone wore red, but at the same time he could often be found between sessions relaxing with his violin. Over the years, he also became increasingly dependent on his wife, Bella, who terrified directors by forcing them to redo scenes that did not meet her satisfaction.
A dispute with Warner Bros. led to the termination of Muni's contract, the result of which was stardom for Humphrey Bogart. Bogart had been bombarding studio head Jack Warner with telegrams, begging to be cast as Roy Earle in the film High Sierra, a part that was supposed to have been played by Muni. But after Muni's departure from the studio, Warner told Bogart that the part was his (according to rumor, he made the offer on condition that Bogart stop sending him telegrams). After reigning as one of the biggest stars in Hollywood during the 1930s, Muni only made eight films between 1941 and 1959 (including a guest appearance as himself in the 1943 film Stage Door Canteen).
After several failed projects, Muni made a triumphant return to Broadway, winning a Tony Award in 1956 for the role of Henry Drummond in the play Inherit the Wind. He retired from filmmaking in 1959, soon after receiving his fifth Academy Award nomination for The Last Angry Man; however, he made a final television appearance in the series Saints and Sinners in 1962. Muni died in Montecito, California in 1967 at the age of 71. Muni died the same year as his Angel On My Shoulder co-star Claude Rains. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6435 Hollywood Blvd.
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