American stage and film actor, best known for his comedic roles, the most famous being ‘The Cowardly Lion’ in the 1939 MGM classic ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ Dropping out of school at 15 and taking the stage name ‘Bert Lahr’ to join a juvenile vaudeville act, he worked his way up from second comic to top banana on the Columbia Burlesque Circuit. Long before ‘Oz,’ he was an established name in burlesque, vaudeville, and Broadway. He starred in Broadway’s ‘Ziegfeld Follies’ and had his own show on radio before venturing into feature films. Lahr’s greatest screen performance — indeed, one of the greatest performances ever captured on celluloid — was as ‘The Cowardly Lion’ in the perennial favorite ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ After making more money than he’d ever seen in his life as star of a series of potato chip commercials, Bert Lahr was cast as ‘Professor Spats’ in the nostalgic 1967 film ‘The Night They Raided Minsky’s;’ Lahr died of cancer during production, forcing the producers to use a double for him in several scenes. He is buried in Union Field Cemetery in Ridgewood, Queens New York.