Actor and vaudeville performer Jerry Mann, who played the peddler for more than seven years in the touring company of "Oklahoma," has died in the Hancock Convalescent Hospital at the age of 77.
Born Jerome Wolfman in New York City, Mann started his career at the age of 9 doing imitations of Eddie Cantor. His early performances were primarily in vaudeville and included a long stint with the USO during World War II. After the war, he joined The Theater Guild's touring production of "Oklahoma" as Peddler, a role reprised many times in various revivals.
He played major comedy roles in many musicals, including "How to Succeed in Business," "Bells are Ringing" and "Knickerbocker Holiday," the latter starring Burt Lancaster. In Las Vegas he appeared in "Guys and Dolls" and "Bells Are Ringing."
Mann was also a regular in one of Perry Como's early radio shows, the Chesterfield Breakfast Club in the late 1940s.
His movie credits include "Underworld U.S.A." (1961); "The Maltese Bippy" (1969); "Sweet Charity" (1969), and "How to Seduce a Woman" (1974).
After heart bypass surgery in 1973, his career lost momentum, and a series of strokes that followed eventually left him an invalid.
Mann is survived by his wife of 24 years, Lilian. Private services were held at the Hollywood-Beth Olam Cemetery.