Terri Garr’s Dad was in Vaudeville

Well, Terri Garr’s dad was in vaudeville, but judging by your response to “Russ Tamblyn’s Dad Was in Vaudeville” you don’t care. But that’s never stopped me before!

Eddie Garr (Edward Leo Gonnoud, 1900-1956) was a Irish-American entertainer important enough to be listed in the Sobel’s Pictorial History of Vaudeville, where he was listed as one of vaudeville’s top mimics. The photo above would seems to indicate what an eccentric cut-up he was. On Broadway he appeared in Jimmy Durante’s Strike Me Pink (1933, which was later made into a 1936 Eddie Cantor movie); the all star revue Thumbs Up (1935) with Clark and McCullough, Eddie Dowling, Ray Dooley, Hal Le Roy, et al; and a 1942 revival of The Merry Widow. He is also said to have subbed for the lead in Tobacco Road, probably on tour, as he is not credited for it on IBDB. He also has over two dozen film and TV credits starting in 1933, mostly in bit parts.

His wife Phyllis Lind Garr (Emma Schmotzer, 1909-1999) was a dancer and model who for a time was one of the Rockettes. At the time Terri was born in 1944 the family was living in the Cleveland area, although they later moved to Los Angeles to be closer to the TV industry. (We’ll write more about Terri on a future occasion no doubt as I’ve never met a soul who didn’t love her). Eddie died of a heart attack in 1956, when Terri was not yet 12. His last credit was an episode of Circus Boy. Phyllis went on to become a successful Hollywood wardrobe mistress and costume designer.

To learn more about vaudeville, please see No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous. 

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