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Books

Book Review

‘The Entertainer’ by Margaret Talbot

NINA SUBIN

He never went to college, but Lyle Talbot was smart enough to know good advice when he saw it. Talbot was a hard-working actor whose career spanned the whole of 20th- century popular entertainment from vaudeville to magic shows, Hollywood studios, Broadway plays, B-movies directed by Ed Wood, and on to the new world of TV and “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.’’ As told by his youngest daughter, Margaret Talbot, a staff writer for The New Yorker, in her new book, “The Entertainer,’’ Lyle had a “Zelig-like” knack for making himself useful — and employable — in each new iteration of American show business.

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