[PW] ""Definition of an Actor," by Irwin (or Irvin) S. Cobb

Barbara Schmidt schmidtbrb at gmail.com
Fri Oct 5 11:31:11 PDT 2018


Cobb appears to have been a prolific writer.  Among the titles of his books
is one that might hold the answer — EXIT LAUGHING , first published in 1941
described as his autobiography.  I do not have a copy and google books does
not offer a preview. But it might be worth examining.

Barb

On Friday, October 5, 2018, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Reagan also used the passage about show business people entering
> heaven in a speech back in 1957 as reported in an Iowa newspaper. The
> paper did not include an ascription for the passage.
>
> Date: March 09, 1957
> Newspaper: Quad-City Times
> Newspaper Location: Davenport, Iowa
> Article: Sullivan Fans Cut Opera
> Author: Mike Connolly
> Quote Page 15, Column 4
> Database: Newspapers.com
>
> [Begin excerpt – double-check for errors]
> Plus Ronald Reagan's toast to the warm hearted people of show business
> -- "When the curtain goes up on eternity and all men must approach the
> heavenly gates bearing in their arms that which they have given in
> life, then the people of show business will march in the procession
> carrying in their arms the pure pearls of tears, the gold of laughter
> and the diamonds of stardust that they spread on what might otherwise
> have been a rather dreary world."
> [End excerpt]
>
> Garson
>
> Garson
> On Fri, Oct 5, 2018 at 3:13 AM ADSGarson O'Toole
> <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Edward Helmrich wrote:
> > > Could you help me find something I've never been able to
> > > track down? Ronald Reagan regularly quoted a poem,
> > > "Definition of an Actor," by Irwin (or Irvin) S. Cobb. It's not a
> > > big thing but if you can find this poem, that'd be great. Thanks!
> >
> > Below is an excerpt from a speech by Ronald Regan in which he
> > attributes statements about show business people to Irvin S. Cobb.
> > It's not a poem, and it does not really correspond to "The Definition
> > of an Actor", but it may be pertinent. The passage occurs after Reagan
> > describes some of the criticisms aimed at show business people.
> >
> > Speech by Ronald Reagan
> > Remarks at the Ford's Theatre Gala
> > June 24, 1988
> >
> > http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=36036
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > And it remained for a columnist named Irvin S. Cobb to respond. And he
> > said: "If this be true, and if it be true when the final curtain falls
> > all must approach the gates bearing in their arms that which they have
> > given in life, the people of show business will march in the
> > procession carrying in their arms the pure pearl of tears, the gold of
> > laughter, and the diamonds of stardust they spread on what might
> > otherwise have been a rather dreary world. And when at last, all reach
> > the final stage door, the keeper will say, 'Open, let my children
> > in.'"
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> > Here is a description of the poem that may help other researchers.
> > Book: Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorized Biography
> > Author: Kitty Kelley
> > Database: Google Books Snippet; must be verified with hardcopy
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > Reagan suggested ending the nightclub act by reciting a poem entitled
> > "The Definition of an Actor" by Irvin S. Cobb, which recounted the
> > glories, sacrifices, and contributions of his profession. . . In this
> > poetic finale he said that actors weren't quite like doctors or
> > lawyers because they didn't do regular work, but they did leave the
> > world a better place in which to live. "There wasn't a dry eye in the
> > house when he finished," said Bradford.
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> > Garson
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