N/A (passed away Jul. 27th, 2003)
Eltham, London, England, UK
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Special Guest Star
Comedian, born in London and moved to Bristol before emigrating with his parents to the US in 1908. After some years on the stage as a dancer and comedian, he made his first film appearance in The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938) singing "Thanks for the Memories", which became his signature tune. In partnership with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour, he appeared in the highly successful "Road to ..." comedies (1940-1952), and in many others until the early 1970s. During World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars he spent much time entertaining the troops in the field. For these activities and for his continued contributions to the industry he was given a special Academy Award on five occasions.
- Was the first honoree of the "'Dean Martin' Celebrity Roasts" series on October 30, 1974. The Celebrity Roasts had begun in the last season (1973-74) of _"The Dean Martin Show" (1965)_ (qv) and were so popular that after that show went off the air, the "Celebrity Roasts" continued as specials.
- He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1990.
- Served as United Service Organizations, Inc. (USO) Entertainment Coordinator from 1941 - 2001. Retired his post at age 98 in favor of 'Wayne Newton' (qv).
- He was one of the richest movie stars.... he ranked in the top ten highest salaried stars continuously from 1941-1953 [except for 1948]
- Awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by President 'Lyndon Johnson (I)' (qv) on his last day in office. (January 20th 1969)
- Hosted the Academy Awards in 1939, 1940, 1943, 1945 (alongside 'John Cromwell (I)' (qv)), 1946 (alongside 'James Stewart (I)' (qv)), 1953 (alongside 'Conrad Nagel' (qv)), 1955 (alongside 'Thelma Ritter' (qv)), 1958 (alongside 'James Stewart (I)' (qv), 'David Niven (I)' (qv), 'Jack Lemmon (I)' (qv), 'Rosalind Russell' (qv) and "Donald Duck"), 1959 (alongside 'Jerry Lewis (I)' (qv), 'David Niven (I)' (qv), 'Laurence Olivier' (qv), 'Mort Sahl' (qv) and 'Tony Randall (I)' (qv)), 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1975 (alongside 'Sammy Davis Jr.' (qv), 'Shirley MacLaine' (qv) and 'Frank Sinatra' (qv)) and finally in 1978.
- Graduated from Fairmount High School in Cleveland, Ohio.
- Played his first big part in the Broadway version of "Roberta" in 1933.