Thursday, December 22, 2016
"The Ritz Brothers" Entertainer Al Ritz 1965 Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Albert "Al" Joachim (August 27, 1901 – December 22, 1965), known professionally as Al Ritz, was an American actor, comedian and entertainer. Ritz was the oldest of the Ritz Brothers.
Ritz was born Albert Joachim on August 27, 1901 in Newark, New Jersey. His father, Max Joachim, (December 1871–January 4, 1939), owned a haberdashery while his mother, Pauline Joachim, (May 1874–November 26, 1935), was a housewife. Ritz's father was a native of Austria-Hungary and his mother was born in Russia. Ritz also had three brothers; George, Samuel (later "Jimmy Ritz"), and Harry. Ritz also had a sister; Gertrude Soll.
Ritz began his solo career shortly after he finished high school to join vaudeville.
The Ritz Brothers
After the three Joachim brothers graduated from high school, they decided to team up as a song-and-comedy act. The brothers began using the name "Ritz" for their nightclub act reportedly after seeing the name on the side of a laundry truck. With fourth brother George acting as their agent, the Ritz Brothers worked nightclubs and vaudeville. The act consisted of the trio indulging in precision dancing, tongue-twisting lampoons of popular stories and songs, and slapstick.
In 1934, the Ritz boys made their screen debut in the two-reel comedy Hotel Anchovy, which led to their being signed by 20th Century Fox as a specialty act. Sing, Baby, Sing (1936) was the first feature film to costar the Ritzes, and, their first starring role followed a year later in Life Begins in College.
Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, the Ritz Brothers continued a wildly popular supper club and resort circuit and made their first appearances as TV guest stars.
Ritz was married once to Annette Ritz. They were married until his death. Ritz did not have any children.
The Ritzes were appearing at New Orleans' Roosevelt Hotel in December 1965 when Al died of a heart attack on December 22. He is buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.
1. "IMDb Entry". Internet Movie Database.
2. "Al Ritz (1901-1965) Find A Grave Memorial". Find a Grave.
3. Cullen, Frank; Hackman, Florence and McNeilly, Donald (2007), Vaudeville, Old and New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America, New York: Routledge, p. 935, ISBN 0-415-93853-8.