Lyle 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 the new world of TV. As told by his youngest daughter, Margaret Talbot, a New Yorker staff writer, 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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