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1930s & Earlier / AL JOLSON in BIG BOY LIZA LEE
Performing in blackface makeup was a theatrical convention used by many entertainers at the beginning of the 20th century, having its origin in the minstrel show. Most early American stage actors performed with the aid of costume and makeup, often as characters of other nationalities and races. Al Jolson was the most famous performer to wear blackface makeup when singing, though this is now considered a form of racial stereotyping. However, by the standards of stagecraft of the day, it was considered no more than another stage costume or prop.