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Jack Gilford Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (5) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in New York City, New York, USA  (stomach cancer)
Birth NameJacob Aaron Gellman

Mini Bio (1)

Jack Gilford was born in Brooklyn, New York, as Yankel Gellman. He began his career in the Amateur Nights of the 1930s moving on to nightclubs as an innovative comedian doing satire and pantomime. He was a regular at the Greenwich Village nightspot, Cafe Society and hosted shows featuring Zero Mostel, Billie Holiday and jazz greats like Hazel Scott. It is said that he invented the expression, "The butler did it!", as part of one of his movie satire routines. He also did a facial pantomime of "Pea Soup Coming to a Boil". During the 1950s, he was a victim of the The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) blacklisting which stalled his TV career until the early 1960s. But after that, he became a regular popular comic character actor on dozens of TV series and movies. He was most recognized for being the rubber-faced guy on the "Cracker Jacks" commercials for a dozen years, from 1960-1972.

He was nominated for Tony awards on Broadway for best supporting actor in the musical, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum", and "Cabaret". The song "Meeskite" was written for him by John Kander & Fred Ebb.

He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the film, Save the Tiger (1973), starring opposite Jack Lemmon, who won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (2)

Madeline Lee (16 April 1949 - 2 June 1990) (his death) (3 children)
? (? - 1947) (divorced)

Trivia (5)

He and his wife, Madeline Lee, were blacklisted during the Hollywood Blacklist of the 1950s.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 179-180. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 325-327. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.
Brother-in-law of Fran Lee.
Has never appeared in a film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.

Personal Quotes (1)

You stay in the business longer. Even leading men who have been character actors prolong their careers--we all know character actors who have been around for a long time. I was always a character actor.

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