Edit
Buck Henry Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (16)  | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (3)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameBuck Henry Zuckerman

Mini Bio (1)

Prolific, multi-talented comedy writer, story editor, actor and director. His father was an Air Force general (Paul Steinberg Zuckerman) turned stockbroker and his mother was silent screen star Ruth Taylor, formerly a member of Mack Sennett's bathing beauties. Buck Henry's first fling with comedy was as a contributor to the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern magazine (known as 'Jacko') while he was still at college. His fellow writers there included such luminaries as Dr. Seuss, novelist Budd Schulberg and the playwright Frank D. Gilroy. Henry attended Harvard Military Academy for a short time before developing an interest in acting which led to a few small roles on Broadway. His budding career was interrupted by military service during the Korean War. In 1961, Henry joined a small improvisational off-Broadway theatre troupe called The Premise for a year before moving to Hollywood. He was to find his greatest popularity in the 60s as one of the principal hosts of Saturday Night Live (1975), writer for The Garry Moore Show (1958) and co-creator/writer (with Mel Brooks) of Get Smart (1965), for which he won an Emmy in 1967. Prior to that, he had already achieved a certain amount of notoriety as co-perpetrator (with Alan Abel) of a hoax which had Henry masquerading as G. Clifford Prout, Jr., president of the bogus Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, making public appearances on network television and other media, demanding that all zoos and wildlife parks be closed until all animals were "properly dressed". At one time he tried to put huge boxer shorts on a baby elephant at San Francisco Zoo. The hoax was eventually exposed after Henry was spotted as an actor by a fellow CBS employee during a Walter Cronkite interview.

One of a new wave of satirists (others including Woody Allen and Alan Arkin) Henry brought an edgier, smarter, more anarchic and at times abrasive style to his writing. Some of his quotable one-liners (in particular for Get Smart) are - and will continue to be - idiomatic. While he was original, clever and invariably funny, not all of Henry's endeavours panned out. Two of his TV parodies proved to be conspicuous failures: Captain Nice (1967) (a send-up of Batman) and Quark (1977) (a Star Trek parody about interstellar garbage collectors). On the plus side, Henry was Oscar-nominated twice: the first time for his screenplay of The Graduate (1967), the second for co-directing (with star Warren Beatty ) the re-make of Heaven Can Wait (1978). Following The Graduate, a New York Times reviewer described him as a cross between Jack Lemmon and Wally Cox , "a terrifying practical joker and a compulsive reader of 200 periodicals a month". He was much in demand as a guest on talk shows (including Johnny Carson, David Letterman and Dick Cavett) and appeared as a self-deprecating actor in most of the films he wrote: as a hotel desk clerk in The Graduate, the cynical Colonel Korn in Catch-22 (1970), a lunatic in Candy (1968), a priest and a TV anchorman in First Family (1980), and so on. In Milos Forman's Taking Off (1971) he also had a rare co-starring role as a father looking for his runaway daughter. Buck Henry passed away at the age of 89 in Los Angeles on January 8 2020.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Family (2)

Spouse Irene Ramp (2008 - 8 January 2020)  (his death)
Sally Zuckerman (? - ?)  (divorced)
Parents Zuckerman, Paul Stuart
Ruth Taylor

Trade Mark (1)

Cap and Glasses

Trivia (16)

Screenwriter/actor.
(1950s) He played the part of G. Clifford Prout Jr., president of the hoax organisation, the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals (SINA).
He is the founding member of Saturday Night Live (1975)'s "Five Timers Club", and has hosted the show 10 times.
As a young actor, he toured in regional stage version of "Life With Father".
Was member of an improvisational theater group, The Premise, in Greenwich Village, early 1960s, along with George Segal.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 212-213. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Selected to be the Guest Director for the 31st annual Telluride Film Festival (www.telluridefilmfestival.com) September 3 - September 6, 2004.
He became friends with Heather Robinson on-line several years ago and is now supervising a television sitcom she has co-created.
Only three times in Academy Award history have director-collaborators been nominated for Best Directing Oscars: Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins for West Side Story (1961), Warren Beatty and Buck Henry for Heaven Can Wait (1978) and Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for No Country for Old Men (2007). (Wise/Robbins and the Coens actually won the award).
The producers of Saturday Night Live (1975) would almost always include a Samurai sketch when he hosted. On one episode, John Belushi accidentally cut him near the eyebrow with his Samurai sword. As a tribute to this on-air injury, the rest of the cast wore bandages over their eyebrows.
Only son of Paul Steinberg Zuckerman (1899-1966), a retired US Air Force Brigadier General who became a Wall Street broker, and actress Ruth Taylor (1905-1984), a Mack Sennett "Bathing Beauty" who starred as Lorelei Lee in the original silent version of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1928).
Went to boarding school at Choate Rosemary Hall and graduated from Dartmouth College, where he worked on the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern humor magazine.
Appearing in off-Broadway play, "Mother". [July 2009]
Directed three actors in Oscar nominated performances: Warren Beatty, Jack Warden and Dyan Cannon, all of them in Heaven Can Wait (1978).
His father was from a family of German Jewish and English Jewish descent. His mother had English, as well as Scottish, Irish, and German, ancestry.
Actress Ruth Taylor is Buck Henry's mother.

Personal Quotes (4)

[about President George W. Bush] We need a president who's fluent in at least one language.
[about writer Edward Adler, a longtime friend] He was the most lovable guy I guess I ever met in my life. I don't know anyone who knew Eddie that didn't want to protect him, because he always seemed like an innocent. Eddie was a great example of someone who always lived close to the ground, so to speak. He wandered through life with his eye and his ear on a kind of New York that doesn't exist anymore.
[on his short-lived career as a stand-up comic] I never liked working in places where people drank and yelled at me.
I don't like to write with people because if they aren't as funny as me I hate them and if they are funnier than me I hate them.

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro Pro Name Page Link

Contribute to This Page


Recently Viewed