Joined traveling medicine show at age 10
Worked his way up from small-time comic to the Paramount Theatre in NYC
Made radio debut on Rudy Vallee's show
Made feature film debut in a small role in the Ginger Rogers vehicle, "Having Wonderful Time"
Put under contract at MGM
Achieved star status in "Whistling in the Dark"
Had own radio show, "Red Skelton's Scrapbook of Satire"
Starred in "I Dood It"
First starred opposite Esther Williams in "Bathing Beauty"
Inducted in the US Army as a private
Reportedly suffered a nervous breakdown while stationed in Italy; remained in the Army as an entertainer
Had title role in the screen comedy "The Fuller Brush Man"
Reteamed with Esther Williams in "Neptune's Daughter"; sang Oscar-winning song "Baby, It's Cold Outside"
Had an over 20-year run as star of variety shows on NBC and CBS
Had rare dramatic role in "The Clown"
Final feature, "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machine"
Initially signed to co-star with Jack Benny in the feature version of Neil Simon's "The Sunshine Boys"; withdrew over salary dispute
Made pay TV debut in "Freddy the Freeloader's Christmas Dinner" (HBO)