Jun 9, 2016
Eddie Cantor: The Craziest Reason for Gay Rumors
Merrily we roll along, Rubinoff and me; when he plays his fiddle, I just go on a spree!
It's a cinch that every time I go on the air, I just look around and find old Rubinoff there.
This guy obviously had a crush on a violinist named Rubinoff!
Who was this guy who had a crush on Rubinoff and disapproved of heterosexual marriage?
His name was Eddie Cantor (1892-1964), known as "Banjo Eyes" for his mincing, eye-rolling song-and-dance routines. He got his start in Vaudeville, then moved into Broadway musical reviews, and had his own radio programs in the 1930s and 1940s (Violinist David Rubinoff was a frequent guest).
He had a reasonably good physique for the 1930s (see top photo), but he was no muscleman, so he didn't provide any beefcake in his films. However, he was often paired with muscular men, such as Paul Gregory (left) in Whoopee.
He probably wasn't gay, but his feminine mannerisms certainly code him as "queer."
And he was the subject of gay rumors for the craziest reason: he was the father of five daughters. Thus drawing thirty years of gossip, speculation, jokes, and ridicule. Why wasn't he "man" enough to have a son? Was he gay?
Cantor turned the gossip around, and made his lack of "virility" a running gag on his radio program.
See also: Burns and Allen: Not the Marrying Kind