Eddie Cantor, a song and dance man, was as revered among show people as among those he entertained. He was one of the founders and an early president of the Screen Actors Guild.
Cantor's charities were nearly as well known as his work as an entertainer; during World War I and World War II, he worked tirelessly to sell bonds. He played a major role in the creation of March of Dimes, to help the fight against infantile paralysis. He founded Actors Equity and was a founder of the American Federation of Radio Artists.
Samuel Goldwyn brought Cantor to Hollywood from New York in 1929 to make "Whoopee," Cantor's first talking picture. He was credited with revolutionizing radio by bringing in the live audience. Eventually he hit the top spot in audience ratings, and he was also in the front rank of entertainers who captured the first television audiences.
His wife, Ida, became known to millions of Americans through her husband's theme song "Ida." The couple, who married in 1914, were childhood sweethearts and friends said he never recovered from her death in 1962.