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Don Ameche Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (25) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 31 May 1908Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA
Date of Death 6 December 1993Scottsdale, Arizona, USA  (prostate cancer)
Birth NameDominic Felix Amici
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Don Ameche was a versatile and popular American film actor in the 1930s and '40s, usually as the dapper, mustached leading man. He was also popular as a radio master of ceremonies during this time. As his film popularity waned in the 1950s, he continued working in theater and some TV. His film career surged in a comeback in the 1980s with fine work as an aging millionaire in Trading Places (1983) and a rejuvenated oldster in Cocoon (1985).

Ameche was born Dominic Felix Amici in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to Barbara Edda (Hertel) and Felice Amici, a bartender.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ray Hamel

Spouse (1)

Honore Prendergast (6 December 1932 - 5 September 1986) (her death) (6 children)

Trade Mark (2)

Was well known for having a peaceful, soothing but authoritative sounding voice.
Distinctive voice

Trivia (25)

Brother of actor Jim Ameche.
Interred at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery (formerly St. Philomina's), Dubuque, Iowa. (Grave unmarked).
Father of six children: Ronald, Dominic Jr., Thomas, Lonnie, Bonnie and Connie.
Portrayed Alexander Graham Bell in The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939) in 1939. In 1957, his brother, Jim Ameche, portrayed Bell in The Story of Mankind (1957).
Inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1992.
He became a major star on radio. His teaming with Frances Langford as "The Bickersons" is regarded as classic comedy on radio. "The Bickersons" were revived for a series or record albums.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald S. Smith, pg. 51-53 (article titled "The Bickersons"). New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa
Calling the telephone the "Don Ameche" became popular American Slang in the 1930s and '40s due to his role as Alexander Graham Bell
Father of Don Ameche Jr..
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 3, 1991-1993, pages 11-13. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001.
His father was an Italian immigrant. His mother had German, English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. Americans pronounced his last name incorrectly in Italian ("Ah-mee-see"). So he changed it from "Amici" (correctly pronounced "Ah-mee-chee") into "Ameche", in order to keep the original Italian pronunciation.
He was awarded two Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Television at 6101 Hollywood Boulevard and for Radio at 6313 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
In The French Connection (1971), a mafia figure is followed to a NYC building in which "the actor, Don Ameche, lives".
Ameche's salary, which was $34,499 in 1936 and $51,833 in 1937, grew to $147,824 in 1940.
When his children's names are all expressed as nicknames, they rhyme, Ronnie, Donnie, Tommie, Lonnie, Bonnie, and Connie.
He was a Republican who attended the Hollywood for Dewey Rally in 1944. Also a member of the Catholic group, the Christophers.
He worked with Tyrone Power in Ladies in Love (1936), In Old Chicago (1937), Love Is News (1937) and Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938) and with his son Tyrone Power Jr. in Cocoon (1985) and Cocoon: The Return (1988).
He died only eight days before his So Goes My Love (1946) co-star Myrna Loy.
Made only five films from 1949 to 1983.
He frequently apologized to his Trading Places (1983) co-star Eddie Murphy for the racist statements that his character made in the film.
Had not acted for 13 years when he was cast in Trading Places (1983). The role revitalized his career and he acted consistently until only a month before his passing.
He was considered for the role of Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972) before Marlon Brando was cast. He was later mentioned by name in The Godfather: Part III (1990) when Joey Zasa (Joe Mantegna said, "We got Don Ameche, who played the guy that invented the telephone," a reference to his role as Alexander Graham Bell in The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939).
Although he played Tod Andrews' father in Heaven Can Wait (1943), he was only six years his senior in real life.
Attended Hollywood for Dewey Rally on Oct. 18, 1944. Other attendees included: Randolph Scott, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Ginger Rogers, and Barbra Stanwyck.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on Darryl F. Zanuck] Zanuck never did anything but be nice to me. Oh yeah, maybe he chased Alice Faye around, but a lot of people chased Alice Faye around.

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