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Overview for Joe Besser
Joe Besser

Joe Besser


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Also Known As: Died: March 1, 1988
Born: August 12, 1907 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: St Louis, Missouri, USA Profession: Cast ...


Raised in St. Louis, Missouri
As a teenager, decided to become a magician
At age 13, stowed away on train carrying his idol magician Howard Thurston; joined Thurston's act as a magician's assistant
Became magician's assistant to Madame Herrmann
Worked in various capacities in vaudeville
Went solo as a comedian
Toured vaudeville partnered with Dick Dana
Featured on Broadway in "The Passing Show of 1932"; also in cast were Ted Healy, Shemp Howard. Moe Howard and Larry Fine
Appeared as an exasperated child in Olsen and Johnson's stage show "Sons of Fun"
Teamed with singer Lee Royce
Signed by Columbia Pictures
Film debut in the short "Cuckoorancho"
Performed bit roles in more than 40 motion pictures
Had featured spots on radio shows including "The Jack Benny Show", "The Fred Allen Show" and "Tonight on Broadway"
Played Mr. Know It All on the radio show "Let Yourself Go", starring Milton Berle
Made appearance on "Hour Glass", one of the first live hour-long entertainment series produced for a TV network (NBC)
Became regular on first TV series, "The Ken Murray Show"
Played Stinky on "The Abbott and Costello Show"
Member of The Three Stooges, performing in final 16 two-reel shorts for Columbia
Played Mr. Jillson on the ABC sitcom "The Joey Bishop Show"
Made TV movie debut, "The Monk" (ABC)
Did voices for Hanna-Barbera cartoons, including Puddy Puss, Babu, and Scarebear

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