Double Acts

by karljhickey14 | created - 10 months ago | updated - 10 months ago | Public

1. Stan Laurel

Actor | Sons of the Desert

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 ...

2. Oliver Hardy

Actor | Sons of the Desert

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 ...

3. Bob Hope

Actor | The Ghost Breakers

Comedian Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, London, England, the fifth of seven sons of Avis (Townes), light opera singer, and William Henry Hope, a stonemason from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. His maternal grandmother was Welsh. Hope moved to Bristol before emigrating with his parents...

4. Bing Crosby

Actor | White Christmas

Bing Crosby was born Harry Lillis Crosby, Jr. in Tacoma, Washington, the fourth of seven children of Catherine Helen "Kate" (Harrigan) and Harry Lowe Crosby, a brewery bookkeeper. He was of English and Irish descent. Crosby studied law at Gonzaga University in Spokane but was more interested in ...

5. Ole Olsen

Actor | Hellzapoppin'

Ole Olsen was born on November 6, 1892 in Peru, Indiana, USA as John Sigvard Olsen. He was married to Eileen O'Dare and Lillian Clem. He died on January 26, 1963 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.

6. Chic Johnson

Actor | Hellzapoppin'

Chic Johnson was born on March 5, 1896 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Harold Ogden Johnson. He was an actor, known for Hellzapoppin' (1941), 50 Million Frenchmen (1931) and Ghost Catchers (1944). He was married to Catherine Valentine Creed. He died on February 26, 1962 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

7. Dennis Morgan

Actor | My Wild Irish Rose

Dennis Morgan was born Stanley Morner in the small town of Prentice, Wisconsin. His first jobs in Hollywood were mostly bit parts, but he scored big after playing opposite Ginger Rogers in Kitty Foyle (1940). He starred in films like My Wild Irish Rose (1947), God Is My Co-Pilot (1945) and The Very...

8. Jack Carson

Actor | Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

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, ...

9. James Cagney

Actor | The Roaring Twenties

One of Hollywood's preeminent male stars of all time, James Cagney was also an accomplished dancer and easily played light comedy. James Francis Cagney was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City, to Carolyn (Nelson) and James Francis Cagney, Sr., who was a bartender and amateur ...

10. Pat O'Brien

Actor | Some Like It Hot

Although he came to be called "Hollywood's Irishman in Residence"--and, along with good friends James Cagney, Allen Jenkins, Frank McHugh and a few others were called "The Irish Mafia"--and he often played Irish immigrants, Pat O'Brien was US-born and -bred. As a young boy the devoutly Roman ...

11. Joan Blondell

Actress | Grease

With blonde hair, big blue eyes and a big smile, Joan was usually cast as the wisecracking working girl who was the lead's best friend. Born into vaudeville to a comic named Eddie, Joan was on the stage when she was three years old. For years, she toured the circuit with her parents and joined a ...

12. Glenda Farrell

Actress | Mystery of the Wax Museum

Glenda Farrell began as the archetypal wisecracking blonde in 1930s gangland films like Little Caesar (1931) and I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932). Diminutive, grey-eyed and undeniably sassy, she was a seasoned performer long before Warner Brothers snapped her up as a contract player in 1929...

13. Alan Ladd

Actor | Shane

Alan Walbridge Ladd was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the only child of Ina Raleigh (aka Selina Rowley) and Alan Ladd, a freelance accountant. His mother was English, from County Durham, and his paternal grandparents were Canadian. His father died when he was four. At age five, he burned his ...

14. William Bendix

Actor | Lifeboat

William Bendix was not a son of Brooklyn, New York, although because of his stereotypical "Brooklyn accent" it has been widely supposed that he was. Bendix was actually born in the Borough of Manhattan (New York City proper), in a midtown flat hard by the tracks of the long-since defunct ...

15. Basil Rathbone

Actor | The Adventures of Robin Hood

Basil Rathbone was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1892, but three years later his family was forced to flee the country because his father was accused by the Boers of being a British spy at a time when Dutch-British conflicts were leading to the Boer War. The Rathbones escaped to England, ...

16. Nigel Bruce

Actor | Rebecca

Nigel was, from the beginning, typecast as bumbling English aristocrats, military types or drawing room society snobs and, within the narrow parameters of his range, he was very, very good at playing these parts. Nigel Bruce was born in Mexico, where his father, Sir William W. Bruce, worked as an ...

17. Thelma Todd

Actress | Horse Feathers

Thelma Todd was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, an industrial city near the New Hampshire state line. She was a lovely child with good academic tendencies, so much so that she decided early on to become a schoolteacher. After high school she went on to college but at her mother's insistence ...

18. Zasu Pitts

Actress | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Classic comedienne Zasu Pitts, of the timid, forlorn blue eyes and trademark woebegone vocal pattern and fidgety hands, was born to Rulandus and Nellie (Shay) Pitts, the third of four children on January 3, 1894. Her aged New York-native father, who lost a leg back in the Civil War era, had settled...

19. Thelma Todd

Actress | Horse Feathers

Thelma Todd was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, an industrial city near the New Hampshire state line. She was a lovely child with good academic tendencies, so much so that she decided early on to become a schoolteacher. After high school she went on to college but at her mother's insistence ...

20. Patsy Kelly

Actress | Rosemary's Baby

Patsy Kelly was born Bridget Sarah Veronica Rose Kelly on January 12, 1910, in Brooklyn, New York. She began performing in vaudeville when she was just twelve years old. Patsy worked with comedian Frank Fay and starred in several Broadway shows. She was discovered by producer Hal Roach, who paired ...

21. 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 ...

22. 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...

23. Leo Gorcey

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Leo Gorcey's parents were actor Bernard Gorcey (born 1888) who stood 4' 10", and Josephine Condon (born 1901), who stood 4' 11" and weighed 95 pounds; they worked in vaudeville in New York. In 1915, 14-year-old Josephine gave birth to Fred. In 1917, Leo was born, a large baby at 12 lb. 3 oz.; as an...

24. Huntz Hall

Actor | Lucky Losers

The 14th of 16 children born to an air conditioning repairman, Henry Richard Hall (he got the name "Huntz" from a brother who said his large nose made him look German) was anything but the tough street kid he played in the East Side Kids/Bowery Boys films. He made his stage debut at the age of 1 in...

25. Terence Hill

Actor | Lo chiamavano Trinità...

Terence Hill was born as Mario Girotti on March 29, 1939 in Venice, Italy to a chemist. His mother was German, and as a child the family lived near Dresden, Saxony, Germany where they survived the Allied bombings of World War II. Italian film-maker Dino Risi discovered him at a swimming meet and he...

26. Bud Spencer

Actor | Lo chiamavano Trinità...

Bud Spencer, the popular Italian actor who starred in innumerable spaghetti Westerns and action-packed potboilers during the 1960s and 1970s, was born Carlo Pedersoli on October 31, 1929, in Naples. The first Italian to swim the 100-meter freestyle in less than a minute, Spencer competed as a ...

27. Sydney Greenstreet

Actor | The Maltese Falcon

Sydney Greenstreet's father was a leather merchant with eight children. Sydney left home at age 18 to make his fortune as a Ceylon tea planter, but drought forced him out of business and back to England. He managed a brewery and, to escape boredom, took acting lessons. His stage debut was as a ...

28. Peter Lorre

Actor | Casablanca

Peter Lorre was born Laszlo Lowenstein on Roszahegy, Hungary. He was educated in elementary and secondary schools in Vienna, Austria. As a youth, he ran away from home, worked as a bank clerk and, after stage training in Vienna, made his acting debut in Zurich. He remained unknown, traveling for ...

29. Frankie Darro

Actor | On the Spot

Born into a show-business family - his parents were circus aerialists - Frankie Darro appeared in his first film at age six. Due to his small size and youthful appearance, he played teenagers well into his 20s. Always a physical performer, Darro often did his own stunts, many times out of necessity...

30. Mantan Moreland

Actor | Charlie Chan in the Secret Service

Although his brand of humor has been reviled for decades, black character actor Mantan Moreland parlayed his cocky but jittery character into a recognizable presence in the late 1930s and early 1940s, appearing in a long string of comedy thrillers . . . and was considered quite funny at the time!

...

31. Johnny Weissmuller

Actor | Tarzan the Ape Man

Johnny Weissmuller was born as Peter Johann Weißmüller in Freidorf, today a district of the city of Timisoara in Romania, then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Weissmuller would later claim to have been born in Windber, Pennsylvania, probably to ensure his eligibility to compete as part of ...

32. Cheeta

Actor | Coronation Street

Cheeta was born on April 9, 1932. He was an actor, known for Coronation Street (1960), See No Evil (2014) and Five News (1998). He died on December 24, 2011 in Palm Harbor, Florida, USA.

33. Johnny Weissmuller

Actor | Tarzan the Ape Man

Johnny Weissmuller was born as Peter Johann Weißmüller in Freidorf, today a district of the city of Timisoara in Romania, then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Weissmuller would later claim to have been born in Windber, Pennsylvania, probably to ensure his eligibility to compete as part of ...

34. Tamba

Actor | Jungle Jim

Tamba is an actor, known for Jungle Jim (1955), Forbidden Jungle (1950) and Killer Ape (1953).

35. Bert Wheeler

Actor | On Again-Off Again

After becoming an orphan as a baby - his mother died at the age of 17 - he was raised by his father and aunt, and later a step-mother, he went to New York, where he tried to break into showbiz.

He got his first break with Gus Edwards, working later as actor in several shows, among them "The ...

36. Robert Woolsey

Actor | So This Is Africa

At the age of 7, his father died, leaving his mother and her six children in poverty, of the children, 4 died in early years. To earn some money to support the family, Robert took odd jobs, before becoming a jockey. This career ended when the horse, Pink Star, the future Kentucky Derby winner of ...

37. Bud Abbott

Actor | Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein

Long acknowledged as one of the best "straight men" in the business, Bud Abbott was born William Alexander Abbott in Reading, Pennsylvania to Rae (Fisher) and Harry Abbott, who had both worked for the Barnum and Bailey Circus. When Bud was three his family moved to Asbury Park, New Jersey, which he...

38. Lou Costello

Actor | Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein

Lou Costello was born Louis Francis Cristillo in Paterson, New Jersey, to Helen (Rege) and Sebastiano Cristillo. His father was from Calabria, Italy, and his mother was an American of Italian, French, and Irish ancestry. Raised in Paterson, Costello dropped out of high school and headed west to ...

39. Dean Martin

Soundtrack | Rio Bravo

If there had to be an image for cool, the man to fit it would be Dean Martin.

Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio, to Angela (Barra) and Gaetano Alfonso Crocetti, a barber. His father was an Italian immigrant, and his mother was of Italian descent. He spoke only Italian until ...

40. Jerry Lewis

Actor | The Nutty Professor

Jerry Lewis (born March 16, 1926) was an American comedian, actor, singer, film producer, screenwriter and film director. He is known for his slapstick humor in film, television, stage and radio. He was originally paired up with Dean Martin in 1946, forming the famed comedy team of Martin and Lewis...

41. Chester Lauck

Actor | The Bashful Bachelor

Chester Lauck was born on February 9, 1902 in Allene, Arkansas, USA as Chester H. Lauck. He was an actor and writer, known for The Bashful Bachelor (1942), Partners in Time (1946) and Lum and Abner Abroad (1956). He died on February 21, 1980 in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

42. Norris Goff

Actor | The Bashful Bachelor

Norris Goff was born on May 30, 1906 in Cove, Arkansas, USA. He was an actor and writer, known for The Bashful Bachelor (1942), Lum and Abner Abroad (1956) and Partners in Time (1946). He was married to Martha Elizabeth Bullion. He died on June 7, 1978 in Palm Desert, California, USA.

43. Chester Morris

Actor | Tomorrow at Seven

The Academy Award-nominated film actor Chester Morris, who will forever be associated with the character Boston Blackie, was born John Chester Brooks Morris on February 16 1901 in New York City, the son of actor William Morris and comedienne Etta Hawkins.

Chester Morris made his Broadway debut as a ...

44. George E. Stone

Actor | Some Like It Hot

A minor prototype of the "Runyon-esque" character for more than three decades, Polish-born actor George E. Stone (né George Stein) was in actuality a close friend of writer Damon Runyon and would play a host of colorful "dees, dem and dos" cronies throughout the 1920s, '30s, and '40s. With great ...



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