Best Comedy Performers of All-Time

by BadWebDiver | created - 19 Oct 2011 | updated - 10 Jun 2015 | Public

The Performers I think showed the most perfect sense of comic delivery.

1. Buster Keaton

Actor | The General

Joseph Frank Keaton was born on October 4, 1895 in Piqua, Kansas, to Joe Keaton and Myra Keaton. Joe and Myra were Vaudevillian comedians with a popular, ever-changing variety act, giving Keaton an eclectic and interesting upbringing. In the earliest days on stage, they traveled with a medicine ...

2. Jim Carrey

Actor | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Jim Carrey, Canadian-born and a U.S. citizen since 2004, is an actor and producer famous for his rubbery body movements and flexible facial expressions. The two-time Golden Globe-winner rose to fame as a cast member of the Fox sketch comedy In Living Color (1990) but leading roles in Ace Ventura: ...

3. Stephen Stucker

Actor | Airplane!

Stephen Stucker was a marvelously wild and dynamic free-spirited actor who specialized in deliciously broad portrayals of memorably outrageous characters in a handful of comedies made in the 70's and 80's. Stucker was born on July 2, 1947 in Des Moines, Iowa. He attended Lincoln School in Alameda, ...

4. Peter Sellers

Actor | Being There

Often credited as the greatest comedian of all time, Peter Sellers was born Richard Henry Sellers to a well-off acting family in 1925 in Southsea, a suburb of Portsmouth. He was the son of Agnes Doreen "Peg" (Marks) and William "Bill" Sellers. His parents worked in an acting company run by his ...

5. Stan Laurel

Actor | Pardon Us

Stan Laurel came from a theatrical family, his father was an actor and theatre manager, and he made his stage debut at the age of 16 at Pickard's Museum, Glasgow. He traveled with Fred Karno's vaudeville company to the United States in 1910 and again in 1913. While with that company he was Charles ...

6. Oliver Hardy

Actor | Pardon Us

Although his parents were never in show business, as a young boy Oliver Hardy was a gifted singer and, by age eight, was performing with minstrel shows. In 1910 he ran a movie theatre, which he preferred to studying law. In 1913 he became a comedy actor with the Lubin Company in Florida and began ...

7. Robin Williams

Actor | Mrs. Doubtfire

Robin McLaurin Williams was born on Saturday, July 21st, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois, a great-great-grandson of Mississippi Governor and Senator, Anselm J. McLaurin. His mother, Laurie McLaurin (née Janin), was a former model from Mississippi, and his father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, was a Ford ...

8. Alec Guinness

Actor | Star Wars

Alec Guinness was an English actor. He is known for his six collaborations with David Lean: Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations (1946), Fagin in Oliver Twist (1948), Col. Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor), Prince Faisal in Lawrence...

9. Danny Kaye

Soundtrack | The Danny Kaye Show

Danny Kaye left school at the age of 13 to work in the so-called Borscht Belt of Jewish resorts in the Catskill Mountains. It was there he learned the basics of show biz. From there he went through a series of jobs in and out of the business. In 1939, he made his Broadway debut in "Straw Hat Revue,...

10. Walter Matthau

Actor | The Odd Couple

Walter Matthau was best known for starring in many films which included Charade (1963), The Odd Couple (1968), Grumpy Old Men (1993), and Dennis the Menace (1993). He often worked with Jack Lemmon and the two were Hollywood's craziest stars.

He was born Walter Jake Matthow in New York City, New York...

11. Steve Martin

Writer | Roxanne

Steve Martin was born on August 14, 1945 in Waco, Texas, USA as Stephen Glenn Martin to Mary Lee (née Stewart; 1913-2002) and Glenn Vernon Martin (1914-1997), a real estate salesman and aspiring actor. He was raised in Inglewood and Garden Grove in California. In 1960, he got a job at the Magic ...

12. Macaulay Culkin

Actor | Home Alone

Macaulay Carson Culkin, one of the most famous American child stars, was born on August 26, 1980 in New York City, New York, USA, as the third of seven children of his father Kit Culkin (a former stage and child actor and also Macaulay's former manager) and mother Patricia Brentrup. He is the ...

13. Don Knotts

Actor | The Andy Griffith Show

Don Knotts, the legendary television character actor, was born Jesse Donald Knotts on July 21, 1924 in Morgantown, West Virginia, to William Jesse Knotts and the former Elsie L. Moore. He was the youngest of four sons in a family that had been in America since the 17th century.

His first stint as an...

14. Jack Lemmon

Actor | The Apartment

Jack Lemmon was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to Mildred Lankford Noel and John Uhler Lemmon, Jr., the president of a doughnut company. His ancestry included Irish (from his paternal grandmother) and English. Jack attended Ward Elementary near his Newton, MA home. At age 9 he was sent to Rivers ...

15. Don Adams

Actor | Get Smart

Don Adams was born in New York, to a father of Hungarian Jewish descent, and a mother of German and Irish ancestry. He had a sister, Gloria, and a brother, Dick Yarmy. He served in the U.S. Marines in World War II and contracted malaria during the fighting on Guadalcanal island. After the war he ...

16. Michael Crawford

Actor | Hello, Dolly!

Michael Crawford was born on January 19, 1942 in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England as Michael Patrick Dumbell-Smith. He is an actor, known for Hello, Dolly! (1969), The Knack... and How to Get It (1965) and Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (1973). He was previously married to Gabrielle Lewis.

17. Michael Caton

Actor | The Castle

Michael Caton was born on July 21, 1943 in Queensland, Australia. He is an actor, known for The Castle (1997), Last Cab to Darwin (2015) and The Animal (2001).

18. Thelma Ritter

Actress | All About Eve

Thelma Ritter appeared in high school plays and was trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. In the 1940s she worked in radio. Her movie career was started with a bit part in the 1946 Miracle on 34th Street (1947). In the movie she played a weary Xmas shopper. Her performance in the short ...

19. Larry Storch

Actor | The Great Race

As a kid in the 1930s growing up in a tough New York neighborhood, kinetic wiseguy Larry Storch took in the multi-ethnic flavor of his surroundings and started blurting out various accents as a juvenile to provoke laughs and earn attention. Little did he know that this early talent would take him ...

20. Ed Wynn

Actor | Alice in Wonderland

An old-fashioned comedian, who, by recommendation by his son Keenan Wynn, became one of the world's most beloved clowns, and one of the best actors of his time. He was born on November 9, 1886. He performed in the Ziegfeld Follies, and later had a son Keenan in 1916. He later wrote his own shows, ...

21. Bert Lahr

Actor | The Wizard of Oz

Fittingly known to be a "Leo" for his horoscope, Bert Lahr is always remembered as the Cowardly Lion in (and the farmer "Zeke") The Wizard of Oz (1939). But during his acting career, he has been known for being in burlesque, vaudeville, and Broadway.

Dropped out of high school at the age of fifteen ...

22. Seth Green

Actor | Austin Powers in Goldmember

Seth Green has starred in numerous films and television series including the Austin Powers trilogy, The Italian Job (2003), Without a Paddle (2004), Party Monster (2003), Can't Hardly Wait (1998), Old Dogs (2009) and dozens more, including starring roles in Sexy Evil Genius (2013), The Story of Luke...

23. Mary Wickes

Actress | Sister Act

From the grand old school of wisecracking, loud and lanky Mary Wickes had few peers while forging a career as a salty scene-stealer. Her abrupt, tell-it-like-it-is demeanor made her a consistent audience favorite on every medium for over six decades. She was particularly adroit in film parts that ...

24. Madeline Kahn

Actress | Paper Moon

Madeline Kahn was born Madeline Gail Wolfson on September 29, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Freda (Goldberg) and Bernard B. Wolfson, a garment manufacturer. She was of Russian Jewish descent. Madeline began her acting career in high school and went on to university where she trained as an opera...

25. Carol Kane

Actress | The Princess Bride

American stage, screen and television actress, and comedian Carol Kane (b. Carolyn Laurie Kane, June 18, 1952, in Cleveland, Ohio), was born to Elaine Joy (née Fetterman), a jazz singer and pianist, and Michael Myron Kane, an architect. Her family is Jewish (from Russia, Poland, and Austria). Due ...

26. Terry-Thomas

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

One of Britain's most beloved eccentric comedians, the irrepressible, gap-toothed Terry-Thomas was born Thomas Terry Hoar-Stevens in Lichfield Grove, Finchley. He was the son of Ellen Elizabeth (Hoar) and Ernest Frederick Stevens, a fairly well-to-do London businessman. He was afforded a private ...

27. Eddie Murphy

Actor | The Nutty Professor

Edward Regan Murphy was born April 3, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York, to Lillian (Laney), a telephone operator, and Charles Edward Murphy, a transit police officer who was also an amateur comedian and actor. After his father died, his mother married Vernon Lynch, a foreman at a Breyer's Ice Cream plant...

28. Joe Flynn

Actor | The Rescuers

Born on November 8, 1924, in Youngstown, Ohio and after attending Northwestern University, Flynn began his entertainment career as a ventriloquist and as a radio performer. During World War II, he served in the Army's Special Services Branch (formerly the Morale Branch) entertaining the troops in ...

29. John Astin

Actor | The Frighteners

Dark haired, usually mustachioed US actor with a cheeky grin who achieved pop culture status through his portrayal of the kooky patriarch "Gomez Addams" in the hit TV series The Addams Family (1964), John Astin was born March 30, 1930, in Baltimore, MD. He attended Johns Hopkins University and ...

30. Jacques Tati

Writer | Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot

The comic genius Jacques Tati was born Taticheff, descended from a noble Russian family. His grandfather, Count Dimitri, had been a general in the Imperial Army and had served as military attaché to the Russian Embassy in Paris. His father, Emmanuel Taticheff, was a well-to-do picture framer who ...

31. John Le Mesurier

Actor | The Italian Job

The son of a solicitor, British character actor John Le Mesurier attended public school in Dorset, England, before embarking on a career in law. However, acting was his true calling, and at age 20, with his parents' approval, he began his acting career by studying drama at the Fay Compton School of...

32. Hattie Jacques

Actress | Carry on Again Doctor

Best known for playing Matron - as in "ooh, Matron!" - in four films: Carry on Nurse (1959), Carry on Doctor (1967), Carry on Again Doctor (1969) and, of course Carry on Matron (1972). Key roles included: Grace Short in Carry on Teacher (1959), Sophie Bliss in Carry on Loving (1970) and Peggy ...



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