Bert Lahr

Actor, Vaudevillian, Burlesque performer
One of the leading burlesque and vaudeville stars who went on to Broadway musical comedies, Bert Lahr had a fitful and rather unremarkable film career highlighted only by his delightful turn as the Cowardly Lion in the ... Read more »
Born: 08/13/1895 in New York City, New York, USA


Actor (14)

The Night They Raided Minsky's 1968 (Movie)

Professor Spats (Actor)

The Man Who Came to Dinner 1954 - 1955 (TV Show)


Anything Goes 1953 - 1954 (TV Show)


Rose Marie 1954 (Movie)

Barney McCorkle (Actor)

Always Leave Them Laughing 1948 (Movie)


The Wizard of Oz 1938 (Movie)

Cowardly Lion (Actor)

Zaza 1938 (Movie)

Cascart (Actor)

Josette (Movie)

Barney Barnaby (Actor)

Just Around the Corner (Movie)

Gus (Actor)

Love and Hisses (Movie)

Sugar Boles (Actor)

Meet the People (Movie)

The Commander (Actor)

Merry-Go-Round of 1938 (Movie)

Bert (Actor)

Ship Ahoy (Movie)

"Skip" Owens (Actor)

Sing Your Worries Away (Movie)

Chow Brewster (Actor)


One of the leading burlesque and vaudeville stars who went on to Broadway musical comedies, Bert Lahr had a fitful and rather unremarkable film career highlighted only by his delightful turn as the Cowardly Lion in the now classic 1939 version of "The Wizard of Oz". Born to a German immigrant father in the Yorkville section of Manhattan, the precocious Lahr dropped out of school at age 15 and quickly found success with the Seven Frolics, a children's stage act. Altering his last name from Lahrheim to Lahr, he went on to a successful career as a burlesque comic (performing "Dutch" characters, replete with accent) and later in an acted paired with his future wife Mercedes Delpino, eventually playing the Palace Theater in 1925. After debuting on Broadway in "Harry Delmar's Revels" in 1927, Lahr had his first major success in a stage musical playing the prize fighter hero of "Hold Everything" (1928-29). Several other musicals followed, notably "Flying High" (1930), Ziegfeld's "Hot-Cha!" (1932) and "The Show Is On" (1936), which teamed him with Beatrice Lillie in a show conceived and directed by Vincente Minnelli. Audiences loved Lahr's penchant for mugging. twisting his face into comic grotesques and ad-libbing hilarious quips. Often onstage, he would perform routines that became signature pieces, like his famous "Stop in the name of the fire house" routine.


Mercedes Delpino

Teamed up for a dance act c. 1919 Had common law marriage until officially wed Aug. 29, 1929 Lahr granted annulment 1940 on the grounds Delpino was clinically insane

Jane Lahr

mother, Mildred Lahr survived him

Herbert Lahr

born in 1929 mother, Mercedes Delpino survived him

John Lahr

born on July 12, 1941 mother, Mildred Lahr survived him

Jacob Lahrheim

German immigrant settled in the Yorkville section of Manhattan

Mildred Schroeder

Married Feb. 11, 1940 until his death Dec. 4, 1967


droppped out of school at age 15



Collapsed during filming of last movie, "The Night They Raided Minsky's"


Played the father in the TV production of "The Fantasticks" (NBC)


Won Tony Award for turn as Volpone in the musical "Foxy"


Appeared in "The Beauty Part" by S J Perelman


Made first appearance in Shakespeare, cast as Bottom in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Autolycus in "The Winter's Tale"


Starred in the unsold pilot "Mr. O'Malley" (CBS)


Appeared alongside Nancy Walker, Dick Van Dyke and Shelley Berman in the revue "The Girls Against the Boys"


Returned to the stage opposite Tom Ewell in Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, Florida


Played opposite E G Marshall in the Broadway production of "Waiting for Godot"


Had leading roles in two TV productions, "Androcles and the Lion" and "School for Wives"


Starred in the revue "Two on the Aisle"


Reprised stage role in the TV adaptation of "Burlesque" (NBC)


Toured in "Make Mine Manhattan" in the role originated by Sid Caesar; appeared in film version


Made rare dramatic appearance onstage in "Burlesque"


Reunited onstage with Beatrice Lille to star in Billy Rose's "Seven Lively Arts", featuring songs by Cole Porter


Portrayed the Cowardly Lion/Zeke in "The Wizard of Oz"


Played opposite Beatrice Lillie in "The Show Is On", staged and conceived by Vincente Minnelli


Starred in "Hot-Cha!", produced by Florenz Ziegfeld


Feature film debut in "Flying High"


Appeared in the stage show "Flying High"


Broadway debut in "Harry Delmar's Revels"; show closed in 16 weeks


First played NYC's Palace Theater


With Mercedes Delpino, formed act Lahr & Mercedes


At age 18, joined the Columbia burlesque circuit; perfected act playing burlesque "Dutch" characters


Spent three years touring with Seven Frolics, a children's vaudeville act; adopted stage surname of Lahr

Served in the US Navy during WWII

Had year-long run as the prize fighter hero of the musical "Hold Everything"

Had biggest success in burlesque in "Keep Smiling"

Was first comedian and stage manager for "Roseland Girls"

Appeared in a series of TV commercials for Lay's Potato Chips

Starred in the Broadway production "Hotel Paradiso", featuring Angela Lansbury

Starred opposite Ethel Merman in the Cole Porter musical "DuBarry Was a Lady"


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