Roberto Gari (b.February 13, 1920 - d. January 22, 2008)
Gari was born in Brooklyn and by the age of 4, he was appearing in vaudeville under the name of Jackie Hayes. In 1939 Gari turned to the art world and studied at the Art Students League under the auspices of such renowned instructors as Will Barnett and Ethel Schwabacher. He became a very respected artist with one man shows from coast to coast in such galleries as the Bodley Gallery in NYC and the Raymond Burr and Acosta galleries in Beverly Hills. His paintings were cherished additions to the collections of such stars as Shelley Winters, Steve Allen, Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher, Eddie Cantor and Ronald Reagan (who even hung his 'Gari' painting in the White House!) His legendary painting of Judy Garland was on display in the lobby of New York's Palace Theatre and then returned to the Theatre Collection of the Museum of the City of New York.
In 1944 Gari danced with Vera-Ellen in the Broadway production of A Connecticut Yankee and later landed the role of Merlin the magician in the same production. His other Broadway credits include Sadie Thompson and Eddie Cantor's production of Nellie Blye. In the 50's he appeared on The Eddie Cantor Colgate Comedy Hour as well as the Danny Thomas Four Star Revue.
Marriage, fatherhood and his art work kept him away from performing until he decided to return in the 80's. You can see him in such films as IQ, The Associate, Scent of a Woman, She Devil and One Fine Day, as well as on the small screen where he played Maurice the bartender on A Guiding Light and Alistair the butler on Another World from 1992-1995. He was also prominently featured on Candid Camera and The Last Mile on PBS. His latest role was playing Amy Sedaris' father in a dozen episodes of the hit Comedy Central series Strangers With Candy.
Brian Gari, the artist's son