Sunday, July 18, 2010
Sam Salz in California and the South of France.
During the early 1930's, my father came to know and sell art to some of the great Hollywood stars and directors of that era such as Greta Garbo, Orson Welles,Jack Warner,Billy Wilder. One of these was the actor Edward G. Robinson who originally came from Romania but grew up in New York. He used to act in the Yiddish theatre under his real name Emmanuel Goldenberg. When the movie producers discovered him, they began by typecasting him as a "gangster" or mob figure. His first major film was "Little Ceaser" in which he played one of these kinds of characters. He later went on to play a more select group of roles(a doctor, a painter, etc..). He was an avid collector of art and was one of the first admirers of artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. In 1939, both he and my father made a trip to Paris before the Nazi invasion to have their individual portraits painted by Edouard Vuillard. His association with Diego Rivera did put him in danger of the blacklist during the Joseph McCarthy time but he was not in as much trouble as other actors then. He went on to have a full career and his art collection was one of the best ones in Hollywood with the help of my father. Sam Salz continued his contact with these Hollywood personalities by playing cards with Jack Warner, Billy Wilder and others on the beach in Cannes. Singer Eddie Fisher and songwriter/producer George Jessel would also visit. My parents also had lunch with Kirk Douglas and his wife who also bought art. It was pleasure mixed with business for him since he got them to relax and maybe consider buying one more painting.