Some all time favorite sidekicks. Sometimes "second bananas," sometimes equal partners, always fun. Men and women. Alphabetically.
Long acknowledged as one of the best "straight men" in the business, Bud Abbott was born William Alexander Abbott in Asbury Park, New Jersey, to Rae (Fisher) and Harry Abbott, who had both worked for the Barnum and Bailey Circus. He himself worked in carnivals while still a child and dropped out of school in 1909...
Jensen Ross Ackles, better known as simply Jensen Ackles, was born on March 1, 1978, in Dallas, Texas, to Donna Joan (Shaffer) and actor Alan Ackles
. He has English, German, and Scottish ancestry. Jensen grew up in Richardson, Texas, together with his older brother, Joshua, and a younger sister...
Sasha Alexander began acting by the time she was in the seventh grade when she found herself cast as the lead female in her school's production of "Baby". What she didn't know was that her male co-star would chicken out on her only a few hours before opening night. Determined to let the show go on, Sasha used her comedic skills and threw herself into the role...
Born Malden, Massachusetts on July 9, 1927 (real name Urick), Ed, Vic Ames
, Gene Ames
and Joe Ames
were sons of Ukrainian Jewish parents and four of nine children. They were very poor but Ed attended Boston Public Latin School along with brother Joe. The singing group, The Ames Brothers
Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson
The son of a minstrel and circus tightrope walker, Eddie Anderson developed a gravel voice early in life which would become his trademark to fame. He joined his older brother Cornelius as members of "The Three Black Aces" during his vaudeville years, singing for pennies in the hotel lobby. He eventually moved his way up to the Roxy and Apollo theaters in New York...
Gillian Anderson was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Rosemary Alyce (Lane), a computer analyst, and Homer Edward Anderson III, who owned a film post-production company. She has English, German, and Irish ancestry. Gillian started her career as a member of an amateur actor group while at high school. In 1987...
Desiderio Alberto Arnaz ye de Acha the Third was born in Santiago, Cuba on March 2, 1917. His father was the mayor of Santiago. The 1933 revolution led by Fulgencio Batista
had landed his father in jail and stripped the family of its wealth, property and power. His father was released because of the intercession of U.S...
Noah Beery Jr.
Familiar and well-liked character actor of very different persona than either his father, Noah Beery
, or his uncle, Wallace Beery
. He attended Harvard Military Academy but managed to make a number of appearances on film and on stage with his father before adulthood. At age 19, he began playing amiable second leads and occasional leading roles...
David was born in Buffalo, New York and grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the son of Patti, a travel agent, and weatherman Dave Roberts (Boreanaz). His father is of Italian descent and his mother is of half Slovak ancestry. At the age of seven he decide to be an actor, which eventually led him to study cinema and photography at Ithaca College in New York...
In many ways the most successful and familiar character actor of American sound films and the only actor to date to win three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Walter Brennan attended college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studying engineering. While in school he became interested in acting and performed in school plays...
Pierce Brendan Brosnan was born in Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland, to May (Smith), a nurse, and Thomas Brosnan, a carpenter. He lived in Navan, County Meath, until he moved to England, UK, at an early age (thus explaining his ability to play men from both backgrounds convincingly). His father left the household when Pierce was a child and although reunited later in life...
At the age of seven, he and his family moved to Oregon. After studying at the University of Oregon, he followed in his father's footsteps and became a dentist, graduating from North Pacific Dental College. From 1929 to 1937, he practiced oral surgery in Eugene, Oregon. He then moved his practice to Altadena...
The son of a circuit-riding Methodist preacher in rural Alabama, Pat Buttram became one of America's best-known comic entertainers. He left Alabama a month before his 18th birthday to attend the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. An announcer from radio station WLS was on hand to interview members of the crowd and settled on Pat as a typical visitor from the South...
Scott Caan is the son of tough guy actor James Caan
. While it is obvious that he admires tough method actors like Marlon Brando
and Sean Penn
, Scott also has a strong egalitarian streak, evidenced by his reasoning for baring his body in films. He is quoted as saying that originally only the women in the scene were to be nude, but that he felt it really sexist, so he stripped too...
Dean Cain was born Dean George Tanaka in Mount Clemens, Michigan, to actress Sharon Thomas Cain
and Roger Tanaka. His mother married his adoptive father, director Christopher Cain
, when Dean was three. Though he grew up in Malibu and attended Santa Monica High School, his career plans favored professional football over acting...
Born July 23, 1970, in Las Vegas, Charisma Carpenter was named after an Avon perfume (a fact that did not sit well with her). She studied classical ballet from age five. Her family moved around often. As a youngster, she entered many local beauty contests, and attended Gorman High School in Las Vegas...
Hong Kong's cheeky, lovable and best known film star, Jackie Chan endured many years of long, hard work and multiple injuries to establish international success via his early beginnings in Hong Kong's manic martial arts cinema industry. Jackie was born Kong-sang Chan on Hong Kong's famous Victoria Peak on April 7...
Robert Conrad was a graduate of Northwestern University, spending his first few years out of school supporting himself and his family by driving a milk truck and singing in a Chicago cabaret. Conrad befriended up-and-coming actor Nick Adams during this period, and it was Adams who helped Conrad get his first Hollywood work in 1957...
Bill Cosby is one of the world's most well-known entertainers and comedians. William Henry Cosby, Jr. was born on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Anna Pearl (Hite), a maid, and William Henry Cosby, Sr., a U.S. Navy sailor. After tenth grade, Cosby joined the Navy and completed high school through a correspondence course...
Lou Costello was born Louis Francis Cristillo in Paterson, New Jersey, to Helen (Rege) and Sebastiano Cristillo. His father was from Calabria, Italy, and his mother was an American of Italian, French, and Irish ancestry. Raised in Paterson, Costello dropped out of high school and headed west to break into the movies...
Bing Crosby was born Harry Lillis Crosby, Jr. in Tacoma, Washington, the fourth of seven children of Catherine Helen "Kate" (Harrigan) and Harry Lowe Crosby, a brewery bookkeeper. He was of English and Irish descent. Crosby studied law at Gonzaga University in Spokane but was more interested in playing the drums and singing with a local band...
Tall, slim and exceedingly good-looking American leading man Robert Culp, a former cartoonist in his teen years, appeared off-Broadway in the 1950s before settling into polished, clean-cut film leads and "other man" supports a decade later. Hitting the popular TV boards in the hip, racially ground-breaking espionage program I Spy
Considering the kind of scruffy, backwoods, uneducated, Deep-South hillbilly types he played, many people would be surprised to hear that Ken Curtis wasn't actually born in the south but in the small town of Las Animas, Colorado, the son of the town sheriff. They would probably be even more surprised to learn that he began his show business career as a singer in the big-band era...
Emily Erin Deschanel (born October 11, 1976) is an American actress and producer. She is best known for starring in the Fox crime procedural comedy-drama series Bones as Dr. Temperance Brennan since 2005. Deschanel was born in Los Angeles, California, to cinematographer and director Caleb Deschanel and actress Mary Jo Deschanel (née Weir)...
Rotund comic character actor of American films. Born Andrew Vabre Devine in Flagstaff, Arizona, the later-to-be Rotund comic character actor was raised in nearby Kingman, Arizona, the son of Irish-American hotel operator Thomas Devine and his wife Amy. Devine was an able athlete as a student and actually played semi-pro football under a phony name (Jeremiah Schwartz...
An actor with over forty years of experience in theatre, film, and television, Michael Douglas branched out into independent feature production in 1975 with the Academy Award-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
. Since then, as a producer and as an actor-producer, he has shown an uncanny knack for choosing projects that reflect changing trends and public concerns...
David William Duchovny was born on August 7, 1960, in New York City, New York, USA. His father, Amram Ducovny
, was a writer and publicist who was from a family of Jewish immigrants (from Ukraine and Poland), and worked for the American Jewish Committee. His mother, Margaret (Miller), was a Scottish-born school teacher...
Buddy Ebsen began his career as a dancer in the late 1920s in a Broadway chorus. He later formed a vaudeville act with his sister Vilma Ebsen
, which also appeared on Broadway. In 1935 he and his sister went to Hollywood, where they were signed for the first of MGM's Eleanor Powell
movies, Broadway Melody of 1936
Mike is one of four children. His father, Joe, who died in 1956, was a carpenter at Hollywood studios. Mike attended grammar school with Natalie Wood
and Ricky Nelson
. He entered the Marines in the 1950s for two years. Later, he attended the University of California at Los Angeles and studied acting at the Jeff Corey
William Frawley was born in Burlington, Iowa. As a boy he sang at St. Paul's Catholic Church and played at the Burlington Opera House. His first job was as a stenographer for the Union Pacific Railroad. He did vaudeville with his brother Paul, then joined pianist Franz Rath in an act they took to San Francisco in 1910...
is an English actor, best known for portraying Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson
's The Hobbit film trilogy, Tim Canterbury in the original UK version of sitcom mockumentary The Office
, Dr. John Watson in the British crime drama Sherlock
and Lester Nygaard in the dark comedy-crime drama TV series Fargo
Show business is in Sharon Gless' blood. Her grandfather, Neil S. McCarthy (May 6, 1888 - July 25, 1972), was considered by many to have been the most respected and powerful entertainment lawyer of Hollywood's Golden Age. His clients included Howard Hughes
, Paramount Pictures, Louis B. Mayer
John Stephen Goodman is a U.S. film, television, and stage actor. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Virginia Roos (Loosmore), a waitress and saleswoman, and Leslie Francis Goodman, a postal worker who died when John was a small child. He is of English, Welsh, and German ancestry. John is best known for his role as Dan Conner on the television series Roseanne (1988-1997)...
Alyson Hannigan was born in Washington, D.C., to Emilie (Posner), a real estate agent, and Al Hannigan, a truck driver. She began her acting career in Atlanta at the young age of 4 in commercials sponsoring such companies as McDonald's, Six Flags, and Oreos. She is a seasoned television actress veteran...
Mariska (Ma-rish-ka) Magdolna Hargitay was born on January 23, 1964, in Santa Monica, California. Her parents are Mickey Hargitay
and Jayne Mansfield
. She is the youngest of their three children. In June 1967, Mariska and her brothers Zoltan and Mickey Jr. were in the back seat of a car when it was involved in the fatal accident which killed her mother...
Making people laugh is only one facet of Valerie Harper's career, which extends from the stage to television and feature films. A native of Suffern, New York -- "I was born to suffer" -- Harper began her career as a dancer with the corps de ballet at Radio City Hall during its spectacular heyday. She gradually moved into acting...
Teri Lynn Hatcher was born in Palo Alto, California, the only child of Esther (Beshur), a computer programmer, and Owen Walker Hatcher, Jr., a nuclear physicist and electrical engineer. She has Syrian (from her immigrant maternal grandfather), Irish, English, and Czech ancestry. Teri grew up in Sunnyvale...
George 'Gabby' Hayes
American character actor, the most famous of Western-movie sidekicks of the 1930s and 1940s. He was born May 7, 1885, the third of seven children, in the Hayes Hotel (owned by his father) in the tiny hamlet of Stannards, New York, on the outskirts of Wellsville, New York. Hayes was the son of hotelier and oil-production manager Clark Hayes...
Dulé Hill (whose first name is pronounced due-LAY) was born in East Brunswick, New Jersey; raised in Sayreville; and is the younger of two sons born to his Jamaican parents. His father is an entrepreneur and his mother is an educator. He began attending Marie Wildey School of Dance in East Orange, NJ...
Comedian Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, London, England, the fifth of seven sons of Avis (Townes), light opera singer, and William Henry Hope, a stonemason from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. His maternal grandmother was Welsh. Hope moved to Bristol before emigrating with his parents to the US in 1908...
Traylor Howard was born and raised in Orlando. She attended Lake Highland Preparatory School, and while there, appeared in a Juicy Fruit gum commercial. Howard graduated from Lake Highland Preparatory School in 1984. Howard then went on to graduate from Florida State University with a degree in communications and advertising and a minor in English.
Rock Hudson was born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr. in Winnetka, Illinois, to Katherine (Wood), a telephone operator, and Roy Harold Scherer, an auto mechanic. He was of German, Swiss-German, English, and Irish descent. His parents divorced when he was eight years old. He failed to obtain parts in school plays because he couldn't remember lines...
Lean, tall American character actor Arthur Hunnicutt was known for playing humorously wise rural roles. He attended Arkansas State Teachers College in his native state, but was forced to drop out in his third year due to lack of funds. He joined a theatre company in Massachusetts, then migrated to New York...
Best known for his starring role as Det. Sonny Crockett on the hugely successful TV series Miami Vice
, Don Johnson is one of the stars who really defined the 1980s. As James "Sonny" Crockett he went toe-to-toe with drug dealers, pimps, prostitutes, assassins, illegal arms-dealers and crooked cops on a weekly basis from 1984 to 1989...
Don Knotts, the legendary television character actor, was born Jesse Donald Knotts on July 21, 1924 in Morgantown, West Virginia, to William Jesse Knotts and the former Elsie L. Moore. He was the youngest of four sons in a family that had been in America since the 17th century. His first stint as an entertainer was as a ventriloquist...
Bruce Lee remains the greatest icon of martial arts cinema and a key figure of modern popular media. Had it not been for Bruce Lee and his movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream North American and European cinema and audiences the way it has over the past four decades...
Joanna Lumley was born in Kashmir, India, on 1st May 1946. Her father was a major in the Gurkha Rifles, and she spent most of her early childhood in the Far East where her father was posted. An aspiring actress, she first came to fame as a model in London's swinging 1960s, where she was photographed by the greats...
In a career spanning more than four decades, James MacArthur developed a body of work which is wonderfully dynamic in both scope and range. Portraying everything from crazed killer to stalwart defender of law and order, frustrated teenager to cynical senior supervisor, he has appeared in numerous films...
British actor Patrick Macnee was born on February 6, 1922 in London, England into a wealthy and eccentric family. His father, Daniel Macnee, was a race horse trainer, who drank and gambled away the family fortune, leaving young Patrick to be raised by his gay mother, Dorothea Mary, and her lover. Shortly after graduating from Eton (from which he was almost expelled for running a gambling ring)...
Born to a Czech mother and a Serbian father in Chicago, on March 22, 1912, Karl Malden didn't learn how to communicate a single word of English until he was in kindergarten. Raised in Gary, IN, a medium-sized steel town, Malden--like many other young men in Gary--got a job in a steel factory when he finished school...
Penny Marshall was born Carole Penny Marshall in the Bronx, New York, on October 15, 1943. The Libra is 5' 6 1/2", with brown hair and green eyes. She is the daughter of Marjorie (Ward), a tap dance teacher, and Anthony "Tony" Marshall, an industrial film director. She is the younger sister of filmmakers Garry Marshall
and Ronny Hallin
Born in Grodek, Poland, Ross Martin grew up on New York City's Lower East Side. He spoke Yiddish, Polish, and Russian before even learning English and later added French, Spanish, and Italian to his amazing repertoire. Despite academic training (and receiving honors in) business, instruction, and law...
Since David McCallum's father, David McCallum Sr.
, was first violinist for the London Philharmonic and his mother, Dorothy Dorman, was a cellist, it's not surprising that David was originally headed for a career in music, playing oboe. He studied briefly at the Royal Academy of Music. He left that, however...
began her acting career performing in a stage production of Gian Carlo Menotti
's Christmas opera, "Amahl and the Night Visitors". "I was twelve but looked like an eight-year-old boy" she recalls. "As luck would have it, none of the boys in town could sing, so I got the part and wore a hat"...
McRaney holds the distinction of being the last guest star to meet "Matt Dillon" in a gunfight on Gunsmoke
- in the episode "Hard Labor", first broadcast February 24, 1975 (he lost). In fact, in the early portion of Gerald McRaney's career he almost always played the villain; but, since his first series...
Blessed with a piercing, blue-eyed glint, brawny looks, cocky "tough guy" stance and effortless charisma, TV's Christopher Meloni has grabbed audiences' attention, male and female alike, finding breakthrough small screen stardom playing both sides of the law. Audiences first were taken in by his sexually...
Edward Regan Murphy was born April 3, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York, to Lillian, a telephone operator, and Charles Edward Murphy, a transit police officer who was also an amateur comedian and actor. After his father died, his mother married Vernon Lynch, a foreman at a Breyer's Ice Cream plant. His siblings are Charlie Murphy
and Vernon Lynch
won numerous awards, including an Academy Award for his performance in the The Color of Money
, a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Cannes Film Festival Award, an Emmy Award, and many honorary awards. Despite being colorblind, he won several national championships as a driver in Sports Car Club of America road racing...
Leonard Simon Nimoy was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Dora (Spinner) and Max Nimoy, who owned a barbershop. His parents were Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. Raised in a tenement and acting in community theaters since age eight, Nimoy did not make his Hollywood debut until he was 20, with a bit part in Queen for a Day
and another as a ballplayer in the perennial Rhubarb
Nick Nolte was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to Helen (King) and Franklin Arthur Nolte, who worked in irrigation pump sales. He has German and British Isles ancestry. Nolte began his career on stage at the Pasadena (California) Playhouse and in regional theatre productions. His breakthrough role was in the TV mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man
Christopher Eugene O'Donnell was born on June 26th, 1970 in Winnetka, Illinois, to Julie Ann (Rohs) and William Charles O'Donnell, Sr., who managed a CBS radio station, WBBM-AM. He is the youngest child in his family, with four sisters and two brothers. His father had Irish ancestry and his mother's lineage includes German, English, and Swiss...
Jared Padalecki was born in San Antonio, Texas, to Sherri (Kammer), a teacher of English, and Gerald Padalecki, a tax accountant. He is of Polish (father) and German, English, Scottish, and French (mother) descent. Jared started to take acting lessons when he was 12. Then, he won the "Claim to Fame" Contest in 1999 and got to appear on the Teen Choice awards...
Jameson Parker is best known for his role as A.J. Simon on Simon & Simon
, which ran on CBS for eight seasons. He was born in Baltimore and saw most of the capitals of Europe during his father's foreign service career. Young Parker also managed to see an inordinate number of boarding schools, claiming to have attended 10 in 13 years, and being bounced out of two...
When Bronson Pinchot began auditioning for Broadway roles, he refused to do accents. Years later, his ability to do accents is what gave him his first break in film and led to television success as Balki Bartokomous, the odd cousin from a Balkan nation who comes to live with Mark Linn-Baker
on the sitcom Perfect Strangers
Classic comedienne Zasu Pitts, of the timid, forlorn blue eyes and trademark woebegone vocal pattern and fidgety hands, was born to Rulandus and Nellie (Shay) Pitts, the third of four children on January 3, 1894. Her aged New York-native father, who lost a leg back in the Civil War era, had settled the family in Kansas by the time ZaSu was born but relocated to Santa Cruz...
Stefanie Powers, a graduate of Hollywood High, is a veteran of over 200 television appearances as well as the star of ABC's '80s hit Hart to Hart
. At the early age of 15, Stefanie was signed to a movie deal with Columbia Pictures and labeled as one of the brightest up-and-coming stars in America...
Zachary Quinto was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Margaret J. (McArdle), an Irish-American office worker, and Joseph John Quinto, an Italian-American barber. Zachary graduated from Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, with the class of 1995, where he won Pittsburgh's Gene Kelly
Charles Robert Redford, Jr. was born on August 18, 1936, in Santa Monica, California, to Martha (Hart), from Texas, and Charles Robert Redford, an accountant for Standard Oil, who was originally from Connecticut. He is of English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. Robert's mother died in 1955, the year after he graduated from high school...
Diana Rigg is an English actress. She has had an extensive career in film and theatre, including playing the title role in Medea, both in London and New York, for which she won the 1994 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. Rigg made her professional stage debut in 1957 in The Caucasian Chalk Circle...
James David Rodríguez was born on April 4, 1976. He is the son of Jim Rodríguez, who worked for Boardwalk Auto Group. Roday was born in San Antonio. He attended Taft High School. He studied theater at New York University's Experimental Theatre Wing, where he earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts. He has acted in several theatrical productions...
Tough around the edges and with a handsome durability, Alabama-born Wayne Rogers had graduated from Princeton with a history degree in 1954 and joined the Navy before giving acting a thought. During his military service, however, he became associated with theater by happenstance and decided to give it a try after his discharge...
Susan Saint James
Susan Saint James was a lovely and loony TV successor to Shirley MacLaine
, her mildly kooky and clumsy free spirits came into vogue in the "free love" era of the late 60s. Saint James was born Susan Jane Miller in Los Angeles, California, to Constance (Geiger), a teacher, and Charles Daniel Miller, a businessman...
"Finland's Favorite Son" was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1928 to Finnish immigrants Svante and Ida Salmi. They lived in a Finnish community, and Albert's parents only spoke Finnish around the home. Whereas some kids might enjoy playing hooky, when Albert reported for his first day of school, his teacher told him to come back when he could speak English...
Jennifer Saunders was born July 6th 1958 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, UK. She attended Central School of Speech and Drama where she met her comedy partner Dawn French
. Like many of the early 80s groundbreaking "alternative" comedians she began her career as comedienne/actress/writer with Dawn French at "The Comedy Store" in London...
John Richard Schneider was born April 8, 1960, in Mt. Kisco, New York, to Shirley and John Schneider III, a pilot and U.S. Air Force veteran. His parents divorced when he was two. John began acting at the age of eight. He was in many plays in New York. He and his mother moved to Atlanta, Georgia, when he was fourteen...
Born in New York City, Schram attended the University of Maryland on a tennis scholarship. She is best known for her role as Adrian Monk's original personal assistant, Sharona Fleming, on the TV series, Monk
. She is also known for her film debut role as "Evelyn Gardner", the sobbing right-fielder...
Cybill Lynne Shepherd was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to Patty, a homemaker, and William Shepherd, a small business owner. Named after her grandfather, Cy, and her father, Bill, Shepherd's career began at a young age in modeling, when she won the "Miss Teenage Memphis" contest in 1966 and the "Model of the Year" contest in 1968...
Familiar Canadian Indian actor who shot to fame as Tonto, the faithful Indian companion of the masked man on the US television series The Lone Ranger
. A member of the Mohawk tribe of Canada's Six Nations Reserve, Silverheels excelled at wrestling, horse racing, football, boxing, and hockey, and became a renowned lacrosse player...
David Soul achieved pop icon status as handsome, blond-haired, blue-eyed Detective Kenneth Hutchinson on the cult "buddy cop" TV series Starsky and Hutch
, Soul also had a very successful singing career recording several albums, with worldwide number one hit singles including "Silver Lady" & "Don't Give Up on Us Baby"...
Dean Stockwell is one of only a few people left that were alive and acting during the golden age of Hollywood. Over a long career he has worked with many of Hollywood's greatest talents. He's stared with Orson Welles in the court drama Compulsion. Worked with Gene Kelly & Frank Sinatra in the film Anchors Aweigh...
Philip Michael Thomas
Philip Michael Thomas - the multi-talented performer best known as Detective Rico Tubbs in the iconic 1980s TV series Miami Vice
- made his Broadway debut in 1971 in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play No Place to Be Somebody...and hasn't looked back since. In a remarkable career that spans nearly four decades...
John Joseph Travolta was born in Englewood, New Jersey, one of six children of Helen Travolta
(née Helen Cecilia Burke) and Salvatore/Samuel J. Travolta. His father was of Italian descent and his mother was of Irish ancestry. His father owned a tire repair shop called Travolta Tires in Hillsdale, NJ...