91 (passed away Dec. 20th, 2009)
Sep. 28th, 1918
Chelsea, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Arnold Stang's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
A show-stopping comic for decades, actor Arnold Stang started out as a youngster on radio. Born in 1925 in Chelsea, Massachusetts, just north of Boston, the scrawny youngster auditioned at age nine for radio's "Horn and Hardart's Children's Hour" and won a part, which set off a two-decade stint as one of radio's most amusing personalities. Moving to New York, his squawky, unmistakable voice was featured on the kiddie program "Let's Pretend" and the beloved Gertrude Berg classic "The Goldbergs". As a feisty, talented second banana, he traded quips with the best of them: Eddie Cantor; Jack Benny; Fred Allen (I); Fanny Brice; Milton Berle, you name it. He performed his first legitimate play on Broadway at age 12 with "All In Favour". Arnold subsequently moved with Milton Berle to TV in the late 1940s and found a very comfortable comedy niche. On the satirical "Henry Morgan's Great Talent Hunt" (1951), he was a regular member of the stock company as a nerdy teen named Gerard. Plucky, bespectacled geeks who usually had sand kicked in their face became his specialty. While on radio in the 1940s, Arnold also started lending his talents to cartoon voiceovers, beginning with Popeye the Sailor's pal Shorty, later moving into a lengthy hitch as "Hoiman" the mouse in Paramount's "Herman and Katnip" series. His best known Brooklynesque animal character, of course, was in the Joseph Barbera - William Hanna (I) 1961 classic cartoon series "Top Cat" (1961), playing the slick, smart-alecky title role that was very reminiscent of Phil Silvers' Sgt. Bilko character from "The Phil Silvers Show" (1955).
Film work would be very sporadic over the years providing stalwart support in such escapism as Seven Days' Leave (1942), My Sister Eileen (1942), Two Gals and a Guy (1951) and the all-star epic It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963). His best featured part was a rare dramatic role opposite Frank Sinatra in the then-daring topical movie about drug addiction entitled The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) wherein he played Frank Sinatra's seedy but loyal pal Sparrow, a role that easily could have influenced Dustin Hoffman when he created his Ratso Rizzo character a decade and a half later in Midnight Cowboy (1969). During the 1950s, Arnold was the TV spokesman for Chunky candy ("Chunky...what a chunk o' chocolate!"). The owlish comedian with the trademark black, horn-rimmed glasses continued acting into the 90s with small roles in such movies as Dennis the Menace (1993).
- Was cast in a 1980 Sony radio commercial which won a CLIO award for best commercial of the year in its category.
- Got his start in radio as "Jughead" on the "Archie Andrews" Show, replacing 'Hal Stone' (qv) who was in the Army during the Korean War. Arnold appeared simultaneously on "Archie Andrews" and TV's _"The Milton Berle Show" (1948)_ (qv).
- Cast member on ABC (later NBC) Radio's "The Henry Morgan Show" (1946-1950).
- In the late 1950s and early 1960's he was spokesman for the Chunky Candy Bar and made many Television commercials for that candy bar. His proclamation of "Chunky, what a Chunk o' Chocolate!" was the finish of each commercial and was as well known as any tag-line of its era.
- Comedian/character actor, best known for playing nebbish types in films and on TV.
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