Salad Days

Lou Jacobi (nee Louis Harold Jacobovitch) was born December 28, 1913 in Toronto, Canada. Lou made his stage debut in 1924 at Toronto's Princess Theater playing a violin prodigy in The Rabbi and the Priest. Lou was the drama director of the Toronto Y.M.H.A. and also entertained at weddings and bachelor parties before moving to England in 1952. He made his London debut that year as "Morris Rosenberg" in Remains to Be Seen. The following year, he appeared as "Liver Lips Louie" in the West End production of Frank Loesser's Guys and Dolls.


Lou spent time working as a "tummler", entertaining guests in the Canadian Borscht Belt (circa 1930s)

[too m-ler]
1. a male entertainer, as formerly employed by resorts in the Catskill Mountains, who combined the duties of a comedian, activities director, and master of ceremonies to keep the guests amused throughout the day.


1955 Broadway Debut

Lou made his Broadway debut on October 5 1955, originating the role of "Mr. Van Daan" in the The Diary of Anne Frank.

1957 Love and Marriage

In 1957, Lou married Ruth Ludwin.

1959 Hollywood

In 1959 Lou reprised his role as "Hans Van Daan" in George Stevens' big screen version of The Diary of Anne Frank.

1959 Toast of the Town

George Voscovek, Lou Jacobi and Jack Gilford backstage at the Booth Theater in New York, after a performance of Paddy Chayefsky's "The Tenth Man."


1964 Pool Party!

Alan King, Sidney Siegel*, and Lou at King's estate in King's Point, NY. King lived in a house built by Oscar Hammerstein in 1926. (August 1964.)

*Owner of Long Island retail chain "Sid's Pants."

1964 Lou and Ruth

Lou and Ruth, August 1964. King's Point, NY.

1971 "Decisions! Decisions!"

Lou with Cesare Danova on location for "Decisions! Decisions!"

1971 Lou and the Button Down Mind

Lou with co-star Bob Newhart during the Decisions! Decisions! shoot.

Decisions! Decisions! was a 120 minute "interactive" NBC special that featured an all-star cast including John Carradine, Totie Fields and Charles Nelson Reilly. The film was shown in front of a live studio audience who would cast votes to determine which direction the plot should take. Decisions! Decisions! was broadcast in prime time on September 11, 1971.

1991 Batter Up!

Lou Jacobi at Dodger Stadium.

1992 Roger Ebert's Wedding

Lou with Roger and Chaz Ebert at their wedding in Chicago, July 18, 1992.

“I look at Lou, and I’m not afraid to be 85, if I can get there in Lou’s style.” - Roger Ebert

Portrait of Lou Jacobi by Drew Friedman

Portrait of Lou Jacobi by Drew Friedman

© Drew Friedman

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