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.IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous
|Lorna Adams||(26 November 1991 - 27 March 2002) (his death)|
|Ruth Berle||(9 December 1953 - 20 April 1989) (her death) 1 child|
|Joyce Mathews||(16 June 1949 - 30 March 1950) (divorced) 1 child|
|Joyce Mathews||(4 December 1941 - 22 October 1947) (divorced) 1 child|
Theme song: "Near You"
Always holding a Cigar
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 Alfred E. 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.
Father: Moses Berlinger
Mother: Sarah (died 31. May 1954)
Siblings: Phil (b. 1901), Francis (b. 1904), Jack (b. 1905), Rosalind (b. 1913) (all deceased)
Brother of Phil Berle.
Stepfather-in-Law of Richard Moll.
Was diagnosed with a slow-growing cancerous tumor in his colon. Doctors said he did not need surgery and the cancer would take 10 to 12 years to affect him. This turned out to be incorrect, as Berle died less than a year later. [April 2001]
Suffered a mild stroke at his home in California. [5 December 1999]
Had a long-time joking rivalry with Bishop Fulton J. Sheen ("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 ...").
Credits his survival as a television icon with his 30-year contract with NBC (Groucho Marx once joked about this saying: "30 years with NBC? That's not a contract. That's a sentence!").
Always opened his TV show by making an entrance in a different costume each week.
Changed his name to Berle from Berlinger in 1920.
His mother, Sarah Berlinger (later called Sandra Berle), was often shown on camera as she sat in the audience for "The Buick-Berle Show" (1948).
Was well-known as an outrageous joke thief, which frequently rankled some of his fellow performers. One time, he said to Groucho Marx, "You know, Groucho, I've stolen some of my best jokes from you." Without missing a beat, Groucho replied, "Then you weren't listening."
Was a regular on the "Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts".
In 1984 he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, and in 1991 became the first entertainer inducted into the International Comedy Hall of Fame.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald S. Smith, pg. 46-48. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Uncle of Warren Berlinger.
In 1962, NBC tried to develop a TV series around incidents in his life, but the series never got beyond the planning stage.
He adopted a daughter, Victoria, in 1946.
Adopted son, Bill, with Ruth Berle.
Began his professional career at age five, working in motion pictures at the American Mutoscope and Biograph Co. studios in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
In May 1949, he hosted the world's first charity telethon, benefiting the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund. The program lasted 24 hours.
In 1947, Berle founded the Friars Club of Beverly Hills at the old Savoy Hotel on Sunset Boulevard. Other founding members included Jimmy Durante, George Jessel, Robert Taylor, and Bing Crosby. 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.
Godfather of musician Billy Sherwood.
He was awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio at 6771 Hollywood Boulevard and for Television at 6263 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Described a brief affair with Aimee Semple McPherson in 1930 in his 1975 autobiography, "Milton Berle: An Autobiography".
Berle was famed in Hollywood for the alleged size of an "unmentionable" portion of his anatomy. An often recounted (and possibly apocryphal) story was that when he was once challenged to a "face-off" with another man to prove who had the larger one, a friend said, "We're in a hurry, Milton, just take out enough to win.".
Appears on a 44¢ USA commemorative postage stamp, issued 11 August 2009, in the Early TV Memories issue honoring "Texaco Star Theater" (titled "The Buick-Berle Show" (1948), 1954-1956).
He became a vegetarian in the early 1940s.
An adult western is where the hero still kisses his horse at the end, only now he worries about it.
If evolution works, why do mothers only have two hands.
If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.
Money can't buy you happiness, but it helps you look for it in a lot more places.
A good wife always forgives her husband when she's wrong.
I live to laugh, and I laugh to live.
[on all the chatter at the 1965 Academy Awards about one romantic twosome in the audience] When I took out Woodrow Wilson's daughter they didn't make such a fuss.
Don't tell jokes only the band laughs at.
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