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Burl Ives (1909–1995)

Burl Ives was one of six children born to a Scottish-Irish farming family. He first sang in public for a soldiers' reunion when he was age 4. In high school, he learned the banjo and played fullback, intending to become a football coach when he enrolled at Eastern Illinois State Teacher's College in 1927. He dropped out in 1930 and wandered, ... See full bio »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

Known For

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Big Daddy Pollitt
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Fantastic Mr. Fox Soundtrack
East of Eden
East of Eden Sam the Sheriff


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 1988 Two Moon Junction
Sheriff Earl Hawkins
 1986 Uphill All the Way
Sheriff John Catledge
 1982 White Dog
 1981 Earthbound
Ned Anderson
 1976 Baker's Hawk
Mr. McGraw
 1975 Hugo the Hippo
Narrator (voice)
 1970 The McMasters
 1968 The Other Side of Bonnie and Clyde
Narrator (voice)
 1967 Those Fantastic Flying Fools
Phineas T. Barnum
 1966 The Daydreamer
Father Neptune (voice)
 1964 Ensign Pulver
Captain Morton
 1964 The Brass Bottle
 1963 Summer Magic
Osh Popham
 1962 The Spiral Road
Dr. Brits Jansen
 1960 Let No Man Write My Epitaph
Judge Bruce Mallory Sullivan
 1959 Our Man in Havana
Dr. Hasselbacher
 1959 Day of the Outlaw
Captain Jack Bruhn
 1958 The Big Country
Rufus Hannassey
 1958 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Big Daddy Pollitt
 1958 Wind Across the Everglades
 1958 Desire Under the Elms
Ephraim Cabot
 1957 A Face in the Crowd
Burl Ives (uncredited)
 1956 The Power and the Prize
George Salt
 1955 East of Eden
Sam the Sheriff
 1950 Sierra
 1948 So Dear to My Heart
Uncle Hiram Douglas
 1948 Station West
Hotel Clerk
 1946 Smoky
Show Show Actor: TV (26 credits)
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Show Show Soundtrack: TV (29 credits)
Show Show Soundtrack: Movie (19 credits)
Show Show Soundtrack: Video (3 credits)
Show Show Soundtrack: Documentary (1 credit)
Show Show Soundtrack: Short (1 credit)
Show Show Thanks: Short (1 credit)
Show Show Self: TV (50 credits)
Show Show Self: Documentary (2 credits)
Show Show Self: Short (1 credit)
Show Show Archive footage (12 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Song arrangements: "Blue Tail Fly"; "Foggy Foggy Dew"; "Sow Took the Measles"; "The Fox"; "Wayfarin' Stranger"; "Come All Ye Good Fellers"; "Bold Soldier"; "Henry Martin"; "I'm Sad and Lonely"; "Jolly Farmer"; "Lord Thomas and Fair Elinore"; "Robin"; "Ten Thousand Miles"; "Tibbie Dunbar"; "Turtle Dove"; "Where is the Old Man"; "On the Grand ... See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Print Biography | See more »

Official Sites:


6' (1.83 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

I was fortunate to be born into a family of Masons. Indeed, my older sister Audrey was Grand Matron of the Order of Eastern Star in Illinois. My DeMolay experience came very naturally because of my father and brothers. Thus was my youth enhanced.


An activist liberal Democrat, in 1952 he named fellow folk singer Pete Seeger and others as possible Communists to the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC) in order to avoid being blacklisted. See more »


His singing voice

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