Outstanding in His Field

Pittsburgh Courier
Pittsburgh Courier

A Woman’s a Fool – to Be Clever

National Theater

Opening Date:October 18, 1938

Closing Date:October 22, 1938

Playwright: Dorothy Bennett, Link Hannah

Opening Night Cast
Vera Allen Christine Foster
Donald Foster Lew Lerner
Eddie Green Major
Margie Ann Kaufman Rosemary Littleproud
Ian Keith Jeff Foster
Edith Meiser Josephine Lerner
Edwin Philips Eddie Sommers
Sandra Stanton Minerva Himmelman

It’s too bad this play had only seven performances.  According to the critics, it was a flop.  However, the critics were in agreement that, Eddie Green as “the cast’s lone Negro actor” gave the best performance.  Eddie, in the role of butler and coachman for the Foster family, was “genuinely funny.”  The newspaper articles mentioned also that Eddie had appeared many times as a guest on Rudy Vallee’s radio hour, and that he had also held a spot with Gee Gee James over the airways with Louie Armstrong and his revue.

The Pittsburgh Courier said “Even Walter Winchell, in his review of the play published in the Daily Mirror agrees “that the most popular member of the earnest little troupe is Eddie Green.”  And “to him is entrusted a few sallies.”

Walter Winchell worked for the New York Daily Mirror where he became the author of what would be the first syndicated gossip column, titled On-Broadway.

Using connections in the entertainment, social, and governmental realms, he would expose exciting or embarrassing information about celebrities in those industries. .  His newspaper column was syndicated in over 2,000 newspapers worldwide, and he was read by 50 million people a day from the 1920s until the early 1960s. His Sunday-night radio broadcast was heard by another 20 million people from 1930 to the late 1950s. It was a big deal then to get a thumbs-up from Mr. Winchell.  My mom did not have a lot of information about Eddie before she married him , but she did know about the mention from Mr. Winchell, so this was one item I grew up having knowledge of, and I knew, even as a child the importance of a Walter Winchell mention.

Growing up I knew so much less about my father than I do now, but I always had a sense of pride in his accomplishments, though for a long time I wished he hadn’t died and left me.  Anywho, Eddie did die in 1950, and with the book I am writing I have gotten as far as 1940.  Soon I will need to have a title, something like “Eddie Green, Star of Stage, Screen and Radio” or, Eddie Green, Renaissance Man, or “Who Was Eddie Green?”, or “An In-Depth Look At A Forgotten Star”.  I have had sixty different titles in my head. Suggestions are welcomed.

Thank you, for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Outstanding in His Field

    1. Thanks for your input about the book title, and if (I hate “if” questions) If I could ask my father one more question, I would ask him why he never talked about his own mother and father, not to my mom or in the many articles in which he was interviewed. He showed my mom the dilapidated “house” he lived in as a child, but that is all. She never even knew Eddie’s parents names. I am having a very difficult time tracing my father’s roots. If you had asked me this before I became a mature adult, I would’ve said my question would be “Why did he leave me when he did (I was a child) without any protection?

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      1. No problem 🙂 those kind of questions can drive people mad for sure. I just know for me personally, since my dad died in 2013, I have learned many unknown things about my family that I wished I would have known when he was still around. Quite important, life altering questions. Even though nothing would change the past, it would be interesting to discuss with him some of those things.
        Without butting in too much, I want to say I’m really sorry your father walked out on his duties as a father. That is just a terrible choice no matter what the reason and I can’t even imagine how that made you feel as a young girl. Seeing a smoking crater in the family portrait where the dad used to be is all too common. Fatherless homes have become the norm and it doesn’t get near the attention it should. My family don’t talk much either. Another destructive status quo I guess. It’s really sad. So much love and connection gets wasted and thrown away over gossip and nonsense. Thanks for sharing and answering my “what if”.

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      2. Oh wow, okay. My apologies. He must have been quite young then? How terrible. Have you written more on this previously? I need to start from the beginning of your blog. I am terrible with jumping around reading. Yeah it’s probably very confusing and sad for a young girl to understand something like that. I was 35 when my dad died and there are things that I just don’t get about it. My dad was 59. Even that is too early to pass on. If you haven’t written about how he died and don’t want to discuss it, I understand but I am curious to hear/read more.

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      3. Haven’t gotten to that part of the story yet, his death. But here is a little update for you. Eddie was born in 1891, he married my mom in 1945. He was 54, she was 22. He died in 1950 at age 59. Keep coming back to read more or check out some of my previous posts.

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