Benjamin Holzman Papers
William H. Hannon Library
Loyola Marymount University
One LMU Drive, MS 8200
Los Angeles, CA 90045-8200
Phone: (310) 338-5710
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Loyola Marymount University. All rights reserved.
Benjamin Holzman Papers
Collection number: MS107
William H. Hannon Library
Loyola Marymount University
Los Angeles, California
- Processed by:
- Clay Stalls
- Date Completed:
- July 2013
- Encoded by:
- Clay Stalls
© 2013 Loyola Marymount University. All rights reserved.
Title: Benjamin Holzman Papers
Collection number: MS107
3 linear feet (4 archival document boxes, 1 oversize archival flat box)
Loyola Marymount University. Library. Department of Archives and Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90045-2659
Languages represented in the collection:
Materials in the Department of Archives and Special Collections may be subject to copyright. Unless explicitly stated otherwise,
Loyola Marymount University does not claim ownership of the copyright of any materials in its collections. The user or publisher
must secure permission to publish from the copyright owner. Loyola Marymount University does not assume any responsibility
for infringement of copyright or of publication rights held by the original author or artists or his/her heirs, assigns, or
[Identification of item], Series number, Box and Folder number, Benjamin Holzman Papers, MS107, Department of Archives and
Special Collections, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University.
Gift of Bud Wittenberg (1989). Accession number: 2011.15.
Benjamin Holzman (1891-1963) was a New York newspaper theater critic; press agent, both in Los Angeles and New York; and the
personal business manager of Eddie Cantor. A native New Yorker, Holzman began his newspaper work with the
New York Press in 1910 or 1911 as the “cabaret editor," and then joined the
New York Evening Mail in the same position in 1916, eventually becoming its “dramatic editor" (theater critic). In 1924, fearing the demise of
the newspaper because of its purchase by Frank Munsey, Holzman became the head of the publicity department of the great producer
Florenz Ziegfeld (1867-1932). In 1926 or 1927 Holzman then teamed with fellow newspaperman Nat Dorfman to form the first independent publicity firm for theater on Broadway. The two men represented the Broadway producer George White (1892-1968); Florenz Ziegfeld (again); Fox Film; the actor, comedian, and radio star Eddie Cantor (1892-1964); and the actor Jackie Coogan (1914-1984).
The Great Depression’s dreadful impact on theater attendance in New York left Holzman’s and Dorfman’s publicity firm wanting
for clients, which led Holzman to leave the partnership to become Eddie Cantor’s business manager in 1932. For this position
he moved to Los Angeles. He stayed in this position with his close friend Cantor until 1941, when he joined the William Morris
Agency as a press agent and represented such show business stars as Betty Hutton (1921-2007) and Maurice Chevalier (1888-1972). He stayed at William Morris until his death in 1963. The actor, producer, and songwriter George Jessel delivered
the eulogy at the funeral of Benjamin Holzman, testifying to the latter’s stature and connections in the show business world.
Benjamin Holzman was survived by his wife Harriett and a daughter.
The collection consists of textual and non-textual material related to the life and professional career of Benjamin Holzman
(1891-1963), a newspaper show business critic and press agent, who worked and lived on both the East and West Coasts. Materials
include professional and personal correspondence, photographs, pubicity releases for New York plays, theater programs, newspaper
clippings, and autobiographical statments on Holzman's career. This last material (see Box 1, Folders 4 and 5) offers glimpses
into life on Broadway and the United States theater in the 1920s. Of particular value is the correspondence and telegrams
between Holzman and Florenz Ziegfeld (1867-1932), the great Broadway and show business producer. They treat publicity for the Ziegfeld Follies and musicals ("Kid
Boots") and the promotion of Billie Burke. Also of interest are theater programs for such theater productions as "Showboat," "Kid Boots," and "Whoopee."The latter
two productions starred Eddie Cantor, whose materials are found Series 2. Materials here include, among other things, Cantor's
personal joke book, some correspondence, and film stills from the film "Roman Scandals."
The theater section of the
New York Evening Mail includes a column by Benjamin F. Holzman and much information on Broadway and movies in New York. Newspaper clippings in
Series 5 and pieces on or by the American humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935), and advertisments for New York theater. The fragility of the newspaper clippings required the substitution of
the originals with photocopies for research use.
With the original order not discernable, the Benjamin Holzman Papers are arranged into five series based on subjects and types
- Series 1: Benjamin Holzman
- Series 2: Eddie Cantor
- Series 3: Florenz Ziegfeld
- Series 4: Photographs
- Series 5: Printed Ephemera, Theater Programs, and Newspaper Clippings
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Holzman, Benjamin, 1891-1963
Cantor, Eddie, 1892-1964
Ziegfeld, Florenz, 1869-1932
Vaudeville -- United States
William Morris Agency
Theater -- New York (State) -- New York
Box and Folder List
Physical Description: 16 folders. 1 box.
This series consists of correspondence, photographs, scrapbook leaves, publicity releases related to the career of Benjamin
Holzman as a press agent and newspaper writer. The correponsdence is mostly personal, although the celebrities writing Holzman
often would combine business matters with personal affairs. Photographs include Holzman at parties with possible clients and
personal photographs. Autobiographical statements in Box 1, Folders 4 and 5, provide insight into his career as well as the
business of show business in the 1920s.
Of special interest (Box 1, Folder 11) are the publicity releases for Broadway plays that Holzman, along with partner Nate
Dorfman, issued for such theater producers as Sam H. Grisman and Phillip Goodman in the 1920s. Also noteworthy is the eulogy
that George Jessel delivered at Al Jolson's funeral (Box 1, Folder 3). The theater section of the
New York Evening Mail that Holzman edited provides extensive information on Broadway shows, movies, stage and movie stars and producers, and corresponding
publicity for the New York City theater scene and film.
Some material in this series comes from folders that Benjamin Holzman created and labelled. The titles that Holzman assigned
to these folders are noted in the box and folder list.
Names of note in the series include Maurice Chevalier (1888-1972), John Decker (1895-1947), George Jessel (1898-1981), and Betty Hutton (1921-2007).
Incoming personal and business correspondence, telegram, and memorandum; includes notes from Betty Hutton, Susan and Harpo
Marx, Maurice Chevalier, Joe E. Lewis, and Fred Allen.
1917-1962 (dates broken)
Incoming telegrams and correspondence of condolence to Harriett Holzman re death of Benjamin Holzman.
Rough drafts of press statements; incoming and outgoing correspondence. Eulogy by George Jessel for Al Jolson. From folder
entitled "Souvenir Press Materials.
1943-1959 (dates broken)
Benjamin Holzman autobiographical statement re early career in newspapers and as publicity agent. Caricature of Fanny Brice
by John Decker. Al Joson 8x10 photograph.
Benjamin Holzman autobiographical essay on career as press agent. Benjamin Holzman chronology of career.
Hollywood Reporter article re Benjamin Holzman leaving William Morris Agency to become Eddie Cantor's business manager.
undated, 1951, 1953
Fanny Brice Carictures by John Decker; publisher's rejection letter re same. John Decker bibliographical essay on Fanny Brice.
William Morris Agency memoranda re John Decker publishing submissions.
Outgoing (copies) and incoming correspondence re publicity for John Decker. Willam Morris advertisements. Eddie Cantor talk
on 60th birthday. Trade journal clippings. From folder labelled "Publicity."
1942, 1943, 1954
Benjamin Holzman photographs: personal, and with clients.
Photograph album with newsclippings re death of Benjamin Holman. Correspondence from Maurice Chevalier. Benjamin Holzman plaque
from B'nai B'rith. Bemjamin Holzman Hollywood Canteen membership card.
1942, 1948, 1963
Correspondence from Maurice Chevalier. Benjamin Holzman speech re Maurice Chevalier birthday. Personal notes. Separated from
photograph album in Box 1, Folder 9, this series.
1925, 1960, 1963
Benjamin Holzman and Nat Dorfman publicity releases re Broadway plays.
Incoming and outgoing (copy) correspondence re Benjamin Holzman letter to
Time magazine. Copy of
Time magazine with Holzman letter. Incoming letter from Eddie Davis, comedy writer.
Letter of rebuttal (copy) from Benjamin Holzman to columnist O. O. McIntyre re Eddie Cantor and column facts. Newspaper clippings
re same (photocopies for research use).
Leaves from scrapbooks with telegrams, correspondence, and newspaper clippings re career and personal life of Benjamin Holzman
(photocopies for research use).
Cartoon strip re "Abe" and "Dr. Marvelle," with newspaper doctor's advice to B(Benjamin?) Holzman.
Theater sections for the
New York Evening Mail; edited by Benjamin F. Holzman. (photocopies for research use).
Physical Description: 9 folders and one oversize box.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Benjamin Holzman was the personal business manager of the comedian, actor, and radio star Eddie Cantor, and this series reflects that relationship. Materials include Cantor's personal joke book, film stills from "Roman Scandals,"
photographs of the Cantor family, theater programs for his musicals "Kid Boots" and "Whoopee," and some personal correspondence.
"Eddie Cantor's Song and Joke Book." 3 copies. New Amsterdam Theatre program for "Whoopee," with Eddie Cantor. Earl Carroll
Theater program for "Kid Boots," with Eddie Cantor. B. F. Keith Theatre program with Eddie Cantor act.
1915-1934 (dates broken)
Film stills from "Roman Scandals," starring Eddie Cantor.
Photographs of Eddie Cantor with wife Ida and with wife Ida and five daughters. Ida Cantor portraits.
Miscellaneous Eddie Cantor photographs.
Eddie Cantor and Benjamin F. Holzman bill of complaint against Goldman Sachs.
Sheet music for Eddie Cantor songs, including those for Ziegfeld Follies.
Eddie Cantor outgoing correspondence to Benjamin Holzman re B'nai B'rith dinner and grandchild. Eddie Cantor joke sheets.
Advertising flyers for Eddie Cantor show "Forty Years of Show Business." Newspaper clippings re Eddie Cantor (photocopies).
1940-1958 (dates broken)
Eddie Cantor private joke book.
Loose sheets with jokes, some by Jessie Kaplan.
Galley proofs and
Collier's magazine re Eddie Cantor and David Freedman article on Al Jolson. "The Real Story of Al Jolson," with foreword by Eddie
Physical Description: 4 folders.
This series holds correspondence and telegrams to Benjamin Holzman from the great producer Florenz Ziegfeld (1867-1932) and other of his show business associates, including Billie Burke (1884-1970), regarding the Ziegfeld Follies and musicals and the production of "Kid Boots" as a movie. The series offers
valuable insight into the business workings of the theater and musicals in the 1920s.
Photocopies of the original telegrams have been substituted for the originals for research use because of the latter's fragility.
Florenz Ziegfeld, Edward Royce, and Billie Burk telegrams (photocopies) to Benjamin Holzman re advertising for Ziegfeld Follies
and "Kid Boots."
Florenz Ziegfeld telegram to Benjamin Holzman, and Stanley Sharpe to Charles Christie, re producton of "Kid Boots" as movie.
Benjamin Holzman incoming correpsondence from Florenz Ziegfeld re advertising, Billie Burke, and Ziegfeld Follies.
Casino Theater program for Florenz Ziegfeld's revival of "Showboat." New Amsterdam Theatre flyer for 19th annual Ziegfeld
Follies. New York newspaper advertisement for Florenz Ziegfeld productions.
Physical Description: 5 folders.
Found in this series are publicity photographs for such show business stars as Danny Kaye; Sammy Davis, Jr.; Jimmy Durante;
and George Jessel, whom may have been clients of Benjamin Holzman. The series also holds two photographs containing George Burns and Jack Benny, one at possible business meeting, the other at a banquet. The latter photograph also includes George Jessel, Groucho Marx,
and Eddie Cantor.
Film star publicity portraits, including Melvyn Douglass, Charles Boyer, Chuck Conners, Betty Hutton, Mona Freeman, Jan Clayton,
Joey Bishop, Buddy Hackett, and George Jessel publicity portraits.
Danny Kaye publicity portraits and film stills. Sammy Davis, Jr., publicity portraits. Jimmy Durante publicity booklet with
George Burns, George Jessel, Jack Benny, Grouch Marx, and Eddie Cantor at banquet. George Burns and Jack Benny at table with
producers and agents. "MGM Girls" publicity photograph?
Printed Ephemera and Newspaper Clippings.
Physical Description: 6 folders.
A miscellany of printed materials comprise this series: theater programs, especially for George White musicals, flyers for musical revues, a program for the famous French nightclub the "Moulin Rouge," and a "Features" booklet
New York Mail with a piece on Benjamin Holzman as a theater critic for the newspaper.
This series also holds newspaper clippings (all photocopies for reasons of preservation) on show business matters that Benjamin
Holzman most likely collected, including a run of newspaper commentaries of Will Rogers (1879-1935), the famous American humorist.
Curran Theatre program "The Playgoer" for "Betty Hutton and Her International Variety Revue." Includes flyer for "Affairs
of State." (2 copies). Flyer re same for Seattle appearance of Betty Hutton program.
Bal du Moulin Rouge program for "La Revue Japonaise." "Features" booklet of
New York Evening Mail. "Bimini Bay" sheet music.
Flyers and theater programs for George White muscial comedies "Flying High" and "Scandals." Union flyers re George White use
of non-unon employees for "Scandals."
Jewish Theatrical Guild certificates and lifetime membership roster. Restaurant menus and flyers. "Snow White and the Seven
Dwarfs" promotional campaign booklet.
Newspaper clippings re show business, including Will Rogers and Harpo Marx (photocopies).
December 8, 1941 edition of
Los Angeles Herald Express on Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.