Oscar Levant

Pianist, Composer, Actor
Raconteur, TV personality, concert pianist, self-described "verbal vampire" and sometime supporting player in films. Levant had originally planned a career as a concert pianist but, after playing in dance bands and ... Read more »
Born: 12/27/1906 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Filmography

Actor (13)

The Cobweb 1955 (Movie)

Mr Capp (Actor)

The Band Wagon 1953 (Movie)

Lester Marton (Actor)

O. Henry's Full House 1952 (Movie)

(Actor)

An American in Paris 1950 (Movie)

Adam Cook (Actor)

Humoresque 1946 (Movie)

Sid Jeffers (Actor)

Rhythm on the River 1939 (Movie)

(Actor)

Information Please (TV Show)

Actor

Kiss the Boys Goodbye (Movie)

Dick Rayburn (Actor)

Rhapsody in Blue (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Romance on the High Seas (Movie)

Oscar Farrar (Actor)

The Barkleys of Broadway (Movie)

Ezra Miller (Actor)

The Dance of Life (Movie)

Jerry (Actor)

You Were Meant for Me (Movie)

Oscar Hoffman (Actor)
Music (5)

The Rocketeer 1991 (Movie)

("All Dressed Up and No Place to Go") (Song)

Let's Get Lost 1989 (Movie)

("Blame It on My Youth") (Song)

Nothing Sacred 1936 (Movie)

(Music)

Half-Marriage (Movie)

(Songwriter)

Tanned Legs (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))
Production Management (1)

Charlie Chan at the Opera (Movie)

(Consultant/advisor)

Biography

Raconteur, TV personality, concert pianist, self-described "verbal vampire" and sometime supporting player in films. Levant had originally planned a career as a concert pianist but, after playing in dance bands and becoming George Gershwin's protege, he devoted himself to interpreting the composer's works and, utilizing his own eccentric personality, played character parts or more accurately variations on his own character in films. He did, however, enjoy considerable success as a concert pianist and, at one point in the 1940s, was the highest paid concert artist in the US. Levant's film appearances, too, whether they were musicals or not, usually gave him a chance to play a piano as well. A chain-smoking neurotic and self-professed genius, Levant was noted for his mordant, scathing wit and finely honed insults often hurled against himself and his own hypochondria, manic depression and addictions.

Relationships

Anne Radin

Mother

Benjamin Levant

Brother

Harry Levant

Brother

Howard Levant

Brother

June Levant Actor

Wife
Married December 1, 1939 until his death of heart attack on August 14, 1972

Max Levant

Father

Amanda Levant

Daughter
born 1942 married Casey Carmel

Lorna Levant

Daughter
born 1941

Marcia Levant

Daughter
born 1940 married journalist Jerry Talmer

Barbara Smith

Wife
married 1932 divorced 1933 died January 16, 1997 at age 86

EDUCATION

studied with Stojovski and Schoenberg

Milestones

1991

Subject of Stan Freeman's one-man play with music, "At Wit's End" at Michael's Pub in New York

1951

Hosted "G E Guest House" TV quiz show

1929

Had a minor role in a Broadway show, "Burlesque" and made film acting debut in film version of that play called "The Dance of Life"

1928

Film composing debut, "My Man"

Left home at age 16 to study music in New York; supported himself by teaching piano

Was a participant on radio program, "Information Please"

Performed with small dance bands

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