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Jack Carson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (4) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (22) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 27 October 1910Carman, Manitoba, Canada
Date of Death 2 January 1963Encino, California, USA  (stomach and liver cancer)
Birth NameJohn Elmer Carson
Nicknames Jackaboy
King of the Double-Take
Jack the Ribbee
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

When Jack Carson arrived in Hollywood in 1937, he found work at RKO as an extra. His first major acting role came alongside Humphrey Bogart in the romantic comedy Stand-In (1937). After a few years, he developed into a popular character actor who would be seen in a large number of comedies, musicals and a few westerns. Not happy with the direction his career was heading, he went to Warner Brothers in 1941, where the quality of his supporting roles improved. It also did not hurt to be in films that starred James Cagney, such as The Strawberry Blonde (1941) and The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941). After three years, he starred with Jane Wyman in Make Your Own Bed (1944) and, again, in The Doughgirls (1944). Jack would play the nice guy with the heart of gold who was still a nice guy even when he was angry. He would take the double take and the quizzical look to a higher level, but he could also act in dramas. He provided a good portrayal of "Albert" in The Hard Way (1943) and was acclaimed for his performance in Mildred Pierce (1945). However, it was comedies that provided most of his work. He teamed up with his old friend, Dennis Morgan, for several films in the tradition of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. It was in the 1940s that Jack would become popular as a wisecracking comedian on radio. This would lead him to TV in the 1950s, where he was one of 4 rotating hosts on All Star Revue (1950), until 1951, when he had left the show and the title was changed to "All Star Revue". He then hosted and performed on The Colgate Comedy Hour (1950) from 1952-55. He would also help host The U.S. Royal Showcase (1952). He would appear on a number of shows during the 1950s, one of his most remembered being an episode of Twilight Zone (1959), where he was a somewhat shady used-car salesman who came into possession of an old Model-A Ford that was "haunted" in that whoever owned it had to tell the truth, whether he wanted to or not. Although his movie career slowed in the 1950s, he still appeared in a number of prestige pictures, such as A Star Is Born (1954) with Judy Garland, The Tarnished Angels (1957) with Rock Hudson and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) with Paul Newman.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Spouse (4)

Sandra Jolley (26 January 1961 - 2 January 1963) (his death)
Lola Albright (1 August 1952 - 10 November 1958) (divorced)
Kay St. Germain Wells (22 August 1940 - 3 April 1950) (divorced) (2 children)
Elizabeth (Betty) Alice Lindy (1938 - 1939) (divorced)

Trade Mark (2)

Well known throughout industry for his famous "double take"
Tall, beefy character who specialized in friendly but frequently untrustworthy types

Trivia (22)

Loved a good discussion about philosophy.
Was writing a book about religion before he died.
Died on the same day as Dick Powell. They died from different forms of cancer.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. Pg. 94-95. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Jack's 4th wife, Sandra Jolley, was the first wife of actor Forrest Tucker.
Grandfather of Seth D. Webster, who is the son of Daniel Frank Webster.
Jack and Dennis Morgan made at least 15 projects together, including Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) and The Hard Way (1943).
Recorded for Design Records in 1957: "Jack Carson Sings Favorite College songs". He later sang for Capitol Records.
Worked with Ginger Rogers in six RKO pics and lost her each time to one of her leading co-stars. He finally won her in The Groom Wore Spurs (1951).
Had a four-year run on radio with "Everybody Loves Jack" (1943-1947).
Was a pilot. He volunteered to join the U.S. Army Air Corps but was rejected due to his height. He was turned down by the Army because he had flat feet.
During WWII, he entertained Gen. Douglas MacArthur's troops in the South Pacific.
According to an article in "Classic Images" by Frances Ingram, Jack became briefly involved with Warner Bros. singing star Doris Day while appearing together in her very first films Romance on the High Seas (1948), It's a Great Feeling (1949) and My Dream Is Yours (1949). He was 38 and she was 24. The relationship didn't work reportedly because he drank too much.
While touring in vaudeville, he met his first wife, dancer Betty Alice Lindy. They later performed together in a song-and-dance act ("Lindy and Carson") for a year on the Orpheum Theatre circuit. They married in 1938 but divorced a year later.
His first vaudeville teaming was with friend Dave Willock. He and Dave graduated from St. John's Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin, and teamed up while attending Carleton College. They sang, danced and told jokes and later went on radio.
Collapsed in August of 1962 while in rehearsal for the play "Critic's Choice." An early diagnosis deemed it a stomach "disorder," but two months later, cancer was discovered while he was undergoing an unrelated operation.
Younger brother of actor Robert Carson, the boys were born in Canada but raised in Milwaukee. His father, Edward L. Carson, was involved in insurance.
During the 1940s, he would often disappear from Hollywood for weeks at a time. Only his wife knew where he went, and she (Kay St. Germain Wells) would tell no one. Years later Carson revealed the secret: he had joined the Clyde Beatty circus as a clown and was traveling with their show. Audiences never knew it was him; "They loved me and my routines," he said,.
He was awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: For Radio at 6361 Hollywood Boulevard, and for Television at 1560 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
Jack's daughter with Kay St. Germain Wells, Germaine Catherine Carson, also died of cancer (April 12, 2010). In his will, Jack had reversed her first and middle names, requiring her to apply for a legal aka as Catherine Germaine Carson, the name she was using at her death.
Stepfather of Brooke Tucker.
There was an unsubstantiated claim that Carson had a bit role in "Follow the Fleet.".

Personal Quotes (2)

Fans are people who let an actor know he's not alone in the way he feels about himself.
People will always laugh at somebody else's discomfort. But they only laugh because they have suffered the same indignity themselves or known darn well how it feels. Being a comedian is almost like being a doctor--the more troubles you discover and understand, the more gladness you can bring to an audience.

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