Lahr, Bert

Lahr, Bert,

1895–1967, American comic actor, b. New York City, originally named Irving Lahrheim. Lahr first performed in burlesque and vaudeville, where he became known for his morose facial expression. After his Broadway debut in Harry Delmar's Revels (1927), he appeared in numerous Broadway shows, in films, and on television. His performance in Waiting for Godot in 1956 is considered the high point of his career, but he is probably best remembered as the Cowardly Lion in the film The Wizard of Oz (1939).


See biography by his son John Lahr (1969).

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Lahr, Bert

(1895–1967) actor; born in New York City. A comedian with a loveably ugly face, he mugged and gagged his way through impossible situations that he created for his characters. After touring in vaudeville with his wife (1916–27), he appeared on Broadway in Hold Everything (1928). A musical comedy star (1928–64), he also appeared in films (1931–67), including The Wizard of Oz (1939) where he played the Cowardly Lion. In 1956, he played Estragon in Waiting for Godot.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.