93 (passed away Mar. 27th, 2002)
Jul. 12th, 1908
New York City, New York, USA
5' 10 1/2"
Milton Berle's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Milton was educated at New York Professional Children's School, and began performing at age 5. His first stage appearance was in "Florodora"in Atlantic City. He appeared at the Palace Theatre in New York in 1931, then in night clubs and theatres. He appeared in the Broadway musicals "Saluta", "See My Lawyer", and "Ziegfeld Follies of 1943". His television debut was on experimental scanning-wheel television in Chicago in 1929. By 1934 he was on radio.
- Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald S. Smith, pg. 46-48. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
- Had a long-time joking rivalry with Bishop 'Fulton J. Sheen' (qv) ("Uncle Fultie"), whose TV show was on opposite his for many years ("He stayed on longer than I did because, let's face it, he had better writers. Mark, Luke ...").
- Appeared for the first time on television in an experimental TV broadcast in 1929, and sometimes is credited with being the first person to appear on television, possibly because a film of the broadcast has survived. On April 7, 1927, an image of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover was transmitted by AT&T in the first successful long distance demonstration of TV. Later that day, AT&T broadcast other material, including vaudeville comedian A. Dolan. WRNY (Coytesville, NJ) became the first standard radio station to transmit a television image, the face of Mrs. John Geloso, on Aug. 13, 1928 in a process resembling early Web "broadcasts," with a delay of a few seconds between image and voice, while on Aug. 22, 1928, WGY simultaneously broadcast Al Smith accepting the Democratic presidential nomination on radio and TV. "The Queen's Messenger" was the first play broadcast by television, on Sept. 11, 1928 by W2XAD, an event that made the front page of the NY Times. Thus, Berle cannot be considered the first "television performer" in history.
- Berle co-wrote, with 'Ben Oakland (I)' (qv), the title song for the 1940 film _Li'l Abner (1940)_ (qv).
- His mother, Sarah Berlinger (later called Sandra Berle), was often shown on camera as she sat in the audience for _"The Milton Berle Show" (1948)_ (qv).
- In 1947, Berle founded the Friars Club of Beverly Hills at the old Savoy Hotel on Sunset Boulevard. Other founding members included 'Jimmy Durante' (qv), 'George Jessel (I)' (qv), 'Robert Taylor (I)' (qv), and 'Bing Crosby' (qv). The club, which moved to Beverly Hills in 1961, is a private show business club famous for its celebrity members and roasts, where a member is mocked by their club friends in good fun.
- Appears on a 44¢ USA commemorative postage stamp, issued 11 August 2009, in the Early TV Memories issue honoring "Texaco Star Theater" (titled _"The Milton Berle Show" (1948)_ (qv), 1954-1956).
- 'Milton Berle' (qv) described a brief affair with 'Aimee Semple McPherson' (qv) in 1930 in his 1975 autobiography titled, "Milton Berle: An Autobiography".