Al Jolson (born Asa Yoelson; May 26, 1886 – October 23, 1950) was a Russian-born American singer, comedian, and actor. At the peak of his career, he was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer". His performing style was brash and extroverted, and he popularized many songs that benefited from his sentimental and melodramatic approach." In the 1920s, Jolson was America's most famous and highest-paid entertainer.
Although best remembered today as the star of the first talking picture, The Jazz Singer (1927), he starred in a series of successful musical films during the 1930s. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was the first star to entertain troops overseas during World War II. After a period of inactivity, his stardom returned with The Jolson Story (1946), for which Larry Parks played Jolson, with the singer dubbing for Parks.