Bert Lahr (1895-1967) was an American stage and screen performer, best-known for his role as the Cowardly Lion in the timeless classic The Wizard of Oz.
Lahr began his career as a vaudeville performer on the Columbia Burlesque Circuit, and worked his way up to starring roles on Broadway, before heading to Hollywood in the 1930s.
He featured in several films before landing the part of the Cowardly Lion in the 1939 MGM musical, starring alongside Judy Garland, Ray Bolger and Jack Haley.
During filming, Lahr was known to ad-lib lines, causing numerous re-takes as his co-stars burst out laughing. When later asked by reporters if he was worried about being typecast, he replied, "Yeah, but how many parts are there for lions?"
Lahr returned to the stage later in his career, co-starring in the 1956 US premiere of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, and winning the 1964 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his role in Foxy.
This vintage 10 x 8 photograph features Lahr in his full Cowardly Lion costume, and is strikingly signed "To Vickie, with love, Uncle Bert" at the top of the image in blue ink. The recipient was Lahr's niece Vickie Arthur.
Lahr was an infrequent signer of autographs during his life, and signed photographs of him in his most iconic role as the Cowardly Lion are highly rare.
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