TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (5)
|Also Known As:||Died:||December 26, 1974|
|Born:||February 14, 1894||Cause of Death:||pancreatic cancer|
|Birth Place:||Waukegan, Illinois, USA||Profession:||Cast ...|
RATE AND COMMENT
Learned to play violin; got first job with the pit orchestra in a Waukegan theater
Offered $15 a week to tour with the Marx Brothers; mother turned down offer
Changed name to Ben K Benny because there was a violinist named Jan Kubelik; later changed name to Jack Benny because there was a popular bandleader named Ben Bernie
Joined Navy and tried to entertain sailors by playing violin; was booed; actor Pat O'Brien suggested he talk to audience instead
Film acting debut in short, "Jack Benny in Bright Moments"
Feature film debut in "Hollywood Revue of 1929"
Starred on own radio show
Sole film as producer (did not appear in film), "The Lucky Stiff"
Ended extensive radio work to concentrate on TV
Hosted TV's "The Jack Benny Program"
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