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Phil Silvers Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (19) | Personal Quotes (1) | Salary (1)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 11 May 1911New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 1 November 1985Century City, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NamePhilip Silver
Nickname The King of Chutzpah
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Phil Silvers was born on May 11, 1911 in New York City, New York, USA as Philip Silver. He was an actor, known for The Phil Silvers Show (1955), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966) and It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963). He was married to Evelyn Patrick and Jo-Carroll Dennison. He died on November 1, 1985 in Century City, California, USA.

Spouse (2)

Evelyn Patrick (21 October 1956 - 28 June 1966) (divorced) (5 children)
Jo-Carroll Dennison (2 March 1945 - 8 March 1950) (divorced)

Trade Mark (2)

Glasses
The greeting "Gladaseeya!" (glad to see you)

Trivia (19)

Interred at Mount Sinai Memorial Park, Los Angeles, CA.
He wrote the lyrics to the Jimmy Van Heusen song "Nancy (With the Laughing Face)" for friend Frank Sinatra's firstborn child Nancy Sinatra.
His Gladasya production company co-produced Gilligan's Island (1964).
Had five daughters with his second wife, Evelyn Patrick: Tracey Silvers (1957), Nancey Silvers, Cathy Silvers, Candace Silvers (1961) and Laury Silvers (1963). Grandfather of Jaclyn Sara Silvers and Phillip Frankland Lee.
Enjoyed a long string of Broadway successes, most notably "High Button Shoes" (1948), "Top Banana" (1951, for which he won a Tony award), "Do-Re-Mi" (1961), "How the Other Half Loves" (1970), and the revival of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" (1971, and another Tony win).
He was a gambling addict. Once, when complaining about his lack of work and being broke in Los Angeles, he absent-mindedly pulled out a large wad of bills. When asked about why did not live on that money, he replied it did not count because it was only his gambling money.
Daughter Tracey Silvers is a film producer and writer.
Has won two Tony Awards as Best Actor (Musical): in 1952 for "Top Banana," a part that he recreated in the film version of the same name, Top Banana (1954), and in 1972 for a revival of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." He was also nominated in the same category in 1961 for "Do Re Mi."
Father-in-law of writer/director/composer Iren Koster.
Later in life, after having cataract surgery on both eyes and with lenses then implanted in his eyes, he no longer needed eyeglasses. However, he continued to wear them without any glass in them--just the frames--because his glasses were, after all, his trademark.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 740-741. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
His first wife, Jo-Carroll Dennison was Miss America of 1942.
Suffered a stroke in 1972.
Silvers' sight was failing fast, and to compensate for this fact he was wearing contact lenses as well as glasses. It was a familiar sight to see Jim Dale, Peter Butterworth, and Silvers scatting around the sand for a lost lens while filming Carry On... Follow That Camel (1967).
Appears as Master Sergeant Ernest G. (Ernie) Bilko on a 44¢ USA commemorative postage stamp, issued 11 August 2009, in the Early TV Memories issue honoring The Phil Silvers Show (1955).
Discovered by impresario Gus Edwards and hired to perform as a singer, in vaudeville, at the age of 13. Three years later he appeared as a comedian in burlesque shows, often with his long-standing partner and friend Herbie Faye. He made his Broadway debut in the musical "Yokel Boy" in 1939.
His eyesight was so bad that he developed a fear of falling into the orchestra pit when he was on stage. In 1962 he turned down the leading role of Pseudolus in the original stage production of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" in part for this reason (he also thought the role was too much like "Sgt. Bilko in a toga"). The role eventually went to Zero Mostel. Silvers played the role of Marcus Lycus in the 1966 film version. In 1972 he played Pseudolus in the Broadway revival, which closed early after he suffered a stroke. The performance won him his second Tony Award. Debbie Reynolds also mentioned this fear, during a 2013 interview on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (2005). She said that in the early 1950s she and Silvers were part of the last vaudeville touring company, before the theatre circuit closed. She said that he used to tie a rope around his waist with the other end tied to a piano leg, so he wouldn't fall into the orchestra pit.
Delivered the eulogy at fellow comedian Rags Ragland's funeral.
He was awarded the 1972 Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award for Best Actor in a Musical for "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," on Broadway in New York City.

Personal Quotes (1)

I'm an impatient comedian. And I feel the audience is as impatient as me.

Salary (1)

All Through the Night (1942) $250 @week

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