TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (2)
|Also Known As:||Died:||December 6, 1993|
|Born:||May 31, 1908||Cause of Death:||prostate cancer|
|Birth Place:||Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA||Profession:||Cast ...|
RATE AND COMMENT
Was cast in a college production while at the University of Wisconsin; began acting in stock theater in Madison
Moved to New York to begin professional career
Made Broadway debut in a small role as a butler in "Jerry for Short"
Toured briefly with singer and entertainer Texas Guinan as part of her vaudeville act
Began performing on the radio at age 22; acted in "The First Nighter" and "Grand Hotel", among other shows
Made first film appearance in a promotional short entitled "Beauty at the World's Fair"
Was regularly on "The Chase & Sanborn Hour" in the mid-1930s; worked opposite W C Fields and Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, among others
Played a leading role on the radio series, "The Bickersons", opposite Frances Langford
Made screen test at MGM; test was considered unsuccessful and Ameche was not signed by the studio
Signed by 20th Century-Fox at $1500 a week after studio head Daryl F Zanuck saw Ameche's screen test for MGM (date approximate)
Made film acting debut in a dual role (the two sons of Jean Hersholt) in "The Sins of Man"
Made first of six films opposite Alice Faye, "You Can't Have Everything"
Played signature role in "The Story of Alexander Graham Bell"
Made last films under 20th Century-Fox contract, "A Wing and a Prayer" and "Greenwich Village"; began freelancing
Moved with his family to New York; worked on his singing and speaking voice with trainers so that he would not need a microphone
Hosted (via the role of the "hotel manager") the ABC variety show, "Holiday Hotel", set in that fictional hotel's "Pelican Room"
Co-hosted (with Frances Langford) the DuMont network's variety show, "Startime"
Hosted the short-lived ABC game show, "Take a Chance"
Hosted (via the role of the "stage manager") the ABC variety series revamp of "Holiday Hotel" entitled "Don's Musical Playhouse"
Co-hosted (with Frances Langford) the ABC variety show, "The Frances Langford-Don Ameche Show"
Was a regular on the NBC 15-minute variety show, "Coke Time with Eddie Fisher"
Was a regular on the NBC variety show, "The Jack Carson Show"
Returned to Broadway; played first leading role onstage in the musical "Silk Stockings"
Starred in TV adaptations of such stage shows as the musical "High Button Shoes" (1956) and the comedy "Junior Miss" (1957)
Hosted the syndicated drama anthology program, "The Don Ameche Theater"
Stage appearances in the 1950s and 60s include roles in the shows "Holiday for Lovers", "Goldilocks" and "Henry, Sweet Henry"
Returned to feature films to act in "A Fever in the Blood"
Ringmastered the popular NBC circus variety show, "International Showtime"
Made first TV movie, "Shadow Over Elveron" (NBC)
Reunited with Alice Faye for a national tour of the musical, "Good News"
Feature film career revived with role in "Trading Places"
Made last Broadway appearance replacing Spalding Gray as the Stage Manager in a revival of "Our Town"; production also featured Helen Hunt and Jason Gedrick
Last TV-movie, "Sunstroke"
Last feature film appearance in a work released during his lifetime, "Folks!"
Was diagnosed with prostate cancer which had already spread considerably 13 months before he died
Supplied the voice of Shadow, the Golden Retriever, for "Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey"
Finished shooting a major supporting role opposite Whoopi Goldberg and Ray Liotta in "Corrina, Corrina" just weeks before he died; played Liotta's father; filmed released posthumously
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