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Memorable Manitobans: Bert Pearl (1913-1986)

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Bert Pearl
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Entertainer.

Born at Winnipeg on 2 February 1913, son of Boruch and Dina Pearl, he attended Aberdeen School and St. John’s High School before taking the pre-medical course at the University of Manitoba on an Isbister scholarship. He moved to Toronto during the Depression to earn money to continue medical training, and found work with the CBC. He formed the Happy Gang, a radio musical troupe, in 1937. He was the “Gang’s” star and emcee for over 20 years in Canada and the United States. In 1959 he went to Hollywood to write for Jimmy Durante. He later served as musical director for Gisele MacKenzie. Pearl was also well known as a pianist, appearing in nightclubs and with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He was a member of the Order of the Buffalo Hunt. He died at Los Angeles, California on 17 June 1986.

Sources:

“Happy Gang’s Bert Pearl dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 19 June 1986, page 50.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 19 June 1986, page 62.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 16 September 2014

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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