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Eddie Bracken

Eddie Bracken

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Also Known As: Edward Vincent Bracken Died: November 14, 2002
Born: February 7, 1915 Cause of Death: Complications of surgery following a fall in his home
Birth Place: Queens, New York, USA Profession: actor, voice actor, theatrical producer, vaudevillian

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Diminutive former vaudevillian whose screen humor was of the fast, physical and furious kind. Beginning his career with Paramount in 1940, Bracken was at his hilariously frenzied, bumbling, stuttering best in two Preston Sturges films: "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek" and "Hail The Conquering Hero" (both 1944). One critic at the time described the typical Bracken role as "the long-suffering, plaintive type who muddles through difficult situations, never knowing quite how he escapes with a whole skin." He briefly achieved star status in these and several other comedies and musicals at Paramount, but his nervous hayseed persona was too narrowly defined to sustain stardom and he was again playing comic second leads by the end of the decade. Bracken's film career petered out in the mid-1950s, but he kept busy into the 60s with TV work on game shows and live comedy, drama, and musical specials. Bracken also returned to the New York stage in the 1950s, appeared with Carol Channing in the late '70s touring revival of "Hello, Dolly!" which also ran on Broadway and earned Bracken a Tony nomination. After being re-discovered in the 1980s by director John Hughes, who cast the actor in his films "National...

Diminutive former vaudevillian whose screen humor was of the fast, physical and furious kind. Beginning his career with Paramount in 1940, Bracken was at his hilariously frenzied, bumbling, stuttering best in two Preston Sturges films: "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek" and "Hail The Conquering Hero" (both 1944). One critic at the time described the typical Bracken role as "the long-suffering, plaintive type who muddles through difficult situations, never knowing quite how he escapes with a whole skin." He briefly achieved star status in these and several other comedies and musicals at Paramount, but his nervous hayseed persona was too narrowly defined to sustain stardom and he was again playing comic second leads by the end of the decade. Bracken's film career petered out in the mid-1950s, but he kept busy into the 60s with TV work on game shows and live comedy, drama, and musical specials.

Bracken also returned to the New York stage in the 1950s, appeared with Carol Channing in the late '70s touring revival of "Hello, Dolly!" which also ran on Broadway and earned Bracken a Tony nomination. After being re-discovered in the 1980s by director John Hughes, who cast the actor in his films "National Lampoon's Vacation," "Home Alone 2" and "Baby's Day Out," Bracken enjoyed renewed activity in the 90s with supporting roles in "Oscar" (1991) and "Rookie of the Year" (1993), as the grandfather in Arthur Miller's made-for-TV "The American Clock" (TNT, 1993) and as Father Burke in the short-lived 1994 NBC drama series, "Winnetka Road".

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Baby's Day Out (1994) Old Timer
2.
 Assault at West Point (1994) Dr Charles Alexander
3.
 Rookie of the Year (1993) Bob Carson
4.
5.
 Oscar (1991) Five Spot Charlie
6.
 Wind in the Willows, The (1987) Voice Of Moley
7.
 National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) Roy Walley
8.
 Shinbone Alley (1971) [Voice of ] Archy
9.
 Wild Wild World (1965) Narrator
10.
 A Slight Case of Larceny (1953) Frederick Winthrop Clopp
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began vaudeville career as a child performer
1930:
Made stage acting debut in the play "Lottery"
1931:
Broadway debut in "The Man on Stilts"
1935:
Co-starred in the NYC production of "So Proudly We Hail"
1937:
Had supporting role in the stage version of "Brother Rat"
1940:
Feature film acting debut, "Too Many Girls"
:
Signed by Paramount
:
Played first leading roles in films in "Sweater Girl" (1942) and "Young and Willing" (1943)
1944:
Co-starred in two Preston Sturges-directed features, "Hail the Conquering Hero" and "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek"
1947:
Last film for Paramount, "Ladies' Man"
1952:
Supplied a voice for the syndicated children's cartoon show, "Willie Wonderful"
1953:
Last film for almost a decade, "A Slight Case of Larceny"
1953:
Began touring in the stage play "The Seven Year Itch"; appeared on Broadway in the lead in 1955 and continued touring on and off throughout the rest of the 1950s
1955:
Was a panelist on the NBC game show, "Make the Connection"
1957:
Hosted the TV game show "Masquerade Party" for one season
1960:
Debut as theatrical producer with "Beg, Borrow or Steal"; also acted in play
1961:
Last onscreen role in films for over two decades, the Italian-produced "Una Domenica d'Estate"
1966:
Played Felix Ungar in the Broadway version of "The Odd Couple"
:
Toured in "You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running"
1970:
Became co-owner of the Staircase Theatre
1971:
Supplied one of the voices for the animated musical comedy, "Shinbone Alley"
:
Played Horace Vandergelder to Carol Channing's Dolly Levi in the touring revival of "Hello, Dolly!"; played Broadway in 1978 and London in 1979
1983:
Returned to feature films to appear in a supporting role in "National Lampoon's Vacation"
:
Toured Australia in the vaudeville-inspired "Sugar Babies"
1989:
Played Cap'n Andy Hawkes on the PBS "Great Performances" presentation of the landmark stage musical, "Show Boat"
1990:
Had recurring role on the NBC sitcom "The Golden Girls"
1991:
Returned to films in "Oscar"
1992:
Had title role in the Paper Mill Playhouse staging of "The Wizard of Oz"
1994:
Played Father Burke on the NBC primetime drama series, "Winnetka Road"
1994:
Last film role to date, a small part in "Baby's Day Out"
1997:
Made guest appearance on the nostalgia-tinged AMC series "Remember WENN"
2000:
Starred in the PBS adaptation of Arthur Miller's play "The Ryan Interview"
2000:
Memorably guest-starred as Stuckeyville Stan on an episode of the NBC series "Ed"
2001:
Appeared in the Paper Mill Playhouse staging of "Carousel"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Professional Children's School: New York , New York -

Notes

Some sources list 1926 as the year of Mr. Bracken's birth.

Bracken earned two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for his radio series, "The Eddie Bracken Show," and the other for his work on television, including appearances on "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "Rawhide" and "Murder She Wrote."

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Constance Nickerson. Actor. Married on September 25, 1939; married 62 years; she died in August 2002.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Joseph L Bracken.
mother:
Catherine Bracken.
daughter:
Judy Bracken Gordon.
daughter:
Carolyn Bracken.
son:
Michael Bracken.
daughter:
Susan Bracken.
son:
David Bracken.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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