George Jessel

April 3, 1898 – May 23, 1981

Known as the “Toastmaster General,” vaudevillian funnyman, George Jessel, took his stage act to Hollywood in the 1920s. Over the course of his 60 year career, he appeared in radio, film and television in addition to recording songs and producing dozens of movies. His affable wit made him a popular emcee and he hosted a number of banquets and roasts for organizations like the Friars Club and the U.S.O. In 1925, he starred in the Broadway stage version of The Jazz Singer and caught the eye of Warner Bros. execs who decided to produce it as the first ever “talking” film. Jessel apparently demanded too much money to be in the movie and the role eventually and famously went to Al Jolson. Behind the scenes, Jessel’s life was a bit of a mess. He had a number of scandalous relationships, not the least of which involved him firing at gun at then-ex-wife, Norma Talmadge. Still, he managed to outlive most of his contemporaries. He wrote a number of memoirs. He worked until he couldn’t. He died of a heart attack at the age of 83 and was buried just a few yards from Al Jolson’s gigantic and spectacular monument. And so it goes.

Burial

Hillside Memorial Park – Culver City, CA

Specific Location

Main Mausoleum, Memory Court; Enter the main doors, go straight into the small, central, open section. George is buried on your left, 5 rows up, 4 spaces directly above David Janssen.

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