Tuesday, January 30, 2018


This past Monday, the talented and beautiful Janet Cantor Gari died at the age of 90. She was the youngest of entertainer Eddie Cantor's five daughters, and she was the last surviving child.

Janet Gari was a native New Yorker, born on October 8, 1927 to Eddie and Ida Cantor. Her other sisters were: Marjorie (1915-1959), Natalie (1916-1997), Edna (1919-2003), and Marilyn (1921-2010). Janet had her first song published at 18, but studied and composed only classical music while raising her children. Mrs. Gari began writing as a composer only for the theatre with lyricist Toby Garson, daughter of legendary songwriter, Harry Ruby. Before dissolving their partnership, they wrote four children's shows and a musical revue, contributing songs to revues with multiple writers as well.

Janet then collaborated with Jeffrey Geddes on a book musical entitled "Such a Pretty Face." This was followed by a revue of her own called "It's a Nice Place to Live, but I Wouldn't Want to Visit." One of the cast members of that revue, Sharon Talbot, turned out to be not only a wonderful singer-dancer-actress but a talented author as well, and she wrote the book for Janet's musical play, "First Born." This won an award from The New York Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts & Media, and one of the scenes, including the song, was performed at the Cherry Lane Theatre by Sharon and her sister, Kelly Taylor.

As soon as that show was underway, Mrs. Gari looked to author Donald Yonker to adapt "The Courtship of Miles Standish" into a musical to be performed by or for high school and college students. They continued their collaboration with a show entitled "Back to Broadway," for which they were invited to do a staged reading at the HBO theater facilities.

Janet was survived by a son Brian Gari, who himself is a talented singer and songwriter and a daughter Amanda as well. Janet wrote numerous books on her parents that are currently available through Bear Manor Media...

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