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

Michael J. Lowrey orangemike at gmail.com
Sat Oct 6 09:57:01 PDT 2018


I've just checked. The passage with "pearls" and "diamonds" in it does not
appear anywhere in EXIT LAUGHING.

On Fri, Oct 5, 2018 at 1:31 PM Barbara Schmidt <schmidtbrb at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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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-- 
Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey

"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and
clothes."
     --  Desiderius Erasmus


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