Eddie Kane

Active - 1929 - 1948  |   Born - Aug 12, 1889   |   Died - Apr 30, 1969   |   Genres - Comedy, Musical, Drama, Romance, Crime

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Biography by Bruce Eder

Tall, distinguished-looking Eddie Kane was never remotely a star in movies or television, but he played just about every kind of important supporting and bit role that there was to portray in a Hollywood career that stretched over a quarter century. Born in 1889, Kane entered show business by way of vaudeville and rose to the top of that field as a member of the team of Kane & Herman. Hollywood beckoned with the coming of sound and his first role was typical of the kind of work that he would do for the next 25 years. In MGM's The Broadway Melody, although uncredited, Kane played the important supporting role of Francis Zanfield (a thin burlesque of Ziegfeld), the theatrical producer whose interest in one of the two sisters, played by Anita Page and Bessie Love, gets the backstage plot rolling. In later films, the actor's parts varied from anonymous head waiters and hotel managers to essential supporting roles, small but telling in the plot. He was apparently at least a nodding acquaintance of James Cagney, playing important bit parts in two of Cagney's movies: in Something To Sing About, Kane portrayed the San Francisco theater manager who shelters Cagney from the crowds swarming around him on his return from an ocean voyage; in Yankee Doodle Dandy he played the actor in Little Johnny Jones who tells Cagney's George M. Cohan, in the title role of Jones, of the plan to fire a rocket from the ship when the evidence clearing him has been found. Kane's range of roles ran from business executives and impressarios to maitre d's and as he grew older and more distinguished-looking, his delivery grew even sharper onscreen. Kane is probably best known to audiences from the 1950s and beyond for his portrayal (uncredited, as usual) of Mr. Monahan, Ralph Kramden's boss at the Gotham Bus Company, in The Honeymooners' episode in which Kramden impersonates a bus company executive to impress an old rival. Kane retired from movies and television after the 1950s and died in 1969 of a heart attack at his home.

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