Actors are artists. Some even pick up brushes and put oil to canvas.
And a few have been or become cartoonists. A very few.
Before Frank James Cooper became actor Gary Cooper he contributed at least two political cartoons to his hometown newspaper The Helena Daily Independent in 1924.
Xavier Cugat was already a famous bandleader and actor when he became noted as a caricaturist. Lesser known is that from at least October 1, 1943 to at least April 29, 1944* his caricatures were syndicated by King Features Syndicate. It is unknown if Xavier wrote the text for his Today’s Birthday daily feature.
*dates from The Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph
Academy Award winning actor Martin Landau was on the art staff of The New York Daily News in the late Forties and early Fifties. He has said he assisted and then ghosted on the Sunday Gumps comic strip. But above we have him actually credited (sometimes as “Marty”) as illustrating famed Billy Rose columns from August and September 1950.
In the late 2010s actor and artist Jim Carrey turned his talents to political cartooning during President Trump’s term in office, then putting it on hold with Joe Biden’s presidency.
Comedian Kevin Nealon is the latest actor we learn who is also a talented caricaturist.
3 thoughts on “Acclaimed Actors as (Un)Common Cartoonists”
My recollection is that the claim of Landau working at the Daily News is questionable, unconfirmed.
The Billy Rose column above titled ‘Midtown Musings’ from The Daily News has the drawing captioned “Sketch by Staff Artist Martin Landau” confirming Landau’s position at the paper.
It was the other claim that was proved wrong, that Martin Landau actor and cartoonist was Ken Landau artist and cartoonist. Ken had a lot more credits and was not the source of the wrong info).
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