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 Roles2007 - Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project
1991 - Driving Me Crazy
1989 - Going Overboard
1985 - Pee-wee's Big Adventure
1984 - Broadway Danny Rose
1979 - The Muppet Movie
1975 - Lepke
1965 - The Loved One
1961 - The Ladies Man
1960 - The Bellboy
1960 - Let's Make Love
1960 - The Bellboy
1941 - Sun Valley Serenade
1920 - The Mark of Zorro
1917 - Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Host
Himself - Texaco Star Theater
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.
- Credits his survival as a television icon with his 30 year contract with NBC ('Groucho Marx' (qv) once joked about this saying: "30 years with NBC? That's not a contract. That's a sentence!").
- 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).
- Brother of 'Phil Berle' (qv).
- 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.
- Milton Berle had begun his professional career at age five, working in motion pictures at the American Mutoscope and Biograph Co. studios in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
- In 1962, NBC tried to develop a TV series around incidents in his life, but the series never got beyond the planning stage.
- Has written three books over the years: Two volumes of autobiography, "Milton Berle" and "B.S.: I Love You," and "The Best Of Milton Berle's Private Joke File," a compendium of many of the 1000+ jokes he's been collecting over almost 80 years in show business.
- Changed his name to Berle from Berlinger in 1920.