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Jolson on Celluloid
available to members of the International Al Jolson Society
from the Video Department.
The Honorary pallbearers were: Jack Benny, Edgar Bergen, Lou Bring, George Burns, Ken Carpenter, Eddie Cantor, Bing Crosby, cecil B. DeMille, Bob Hope, George Jessel, Norman Krasna, Abe Lastfogel, William Morris, William Paley, Groucho Marx, L.B. Mayer, Joe Schenck, Sidney Skolsky, Morris Stoloff, Jerry Wald, Jack Warner, Darryl Zanuck----and many others.
The crowd of 20,000 almost created a mob scene outside the Temple, services had to be delayed 20 minutes to restrain everyone. There over 700 invited guests inside, plus an additional 700 or more invited in from the waiting crowd on the street on a first come, first served basis.
Included at the service -- among others -- were such notables as Danny Thomas, Harry Jolson, Danny Kaye, Ludwig Donath, Larry Parks, Betty Garrett, William Demarest, Joe E. Brown, Eleanor Powell, Ralph Morgan, John Garfield, Glenn Ford, Ted Lewis, Tony Martin and Sam Jaffe.
Jolson was dressed in his favorite navy blue suit, blue knitted tie and white shirt. He wore a white fringed tallit (prayer shawl). A button citation from the Italian government for entertaining troops during WWII was pinned on his lapel.