Left school when mother striken by partial paralysis; became the family's primary breadwinner
Worked variously as a shoe-weaver, silversmith and puppeteer apprentice
Drafted into the army, sent for training to Camp Walters, Texas
Hospitalized from heat strokes; received honorable discharge after four months
Went into business for himself as a silversmith; made tie clasps, cuff links and shirt studs for NYC haberdashers; netted around $40 per week
Performed an informal comic monologue at a party; did an impression of a soldier he had once met
Began performing monologues regularly at parties
Influenced to act by his childhood friend and Greenwich Village roommate Marlon Brando; made other friends in the theater
Became affiliated with the American Creative Theater Group where the director advised him to shape his monologues into a nightclub act
In December, at a theatrical party, met Judy Freed who set up an audition with Max Gordon, owner of the Village Vanguard, a popular jazz cafe in NYC's Greenwich Village
Made nightclub performing debut at the Village Vanguard the same night he auditioned; initial one evening engagement extended into months
Took his act up to the Blue Angel in midtown Manhattan
Caught the attention of theatrical producer Dwight Deere Wiman who cast him in his new musical revue
Early TV appearance as a "student" on "School House", a comedy variety series on the DuMont network set in a schoolhouse
Broadway debut, "Dance Me A Song"
Hailed for his performance, received more than 20 offers for work in film, TV, theater and clubs by the time "Dance Me A Song" closed
Began undergoing psychoanalysis (date approximate)
Performed at the Plaza Hotel's Persian Room and on numerous TV and radio shows including those headlined by Perry Como, Ed Sullivan, Garry Moore and Arthur Godfrey (dates approximate)
Hosted his own NYC radio show on WNEW in October
Starred as a mild-mannered trouble-prone policeman in the "Philco Television Playhouse" production of David Swift's "The Copper" on NBC (date approximate); impressed the show's producer, Fred Coe, who began developing a pilot for a comedy vehicle
Starred as Robinson Peepers, a meek high school science teacher in the hit NBC sitcom, "Mr. Peepers"; performed live in front of a NYC studio audience; began as a summer replacement series
Began acting in summer theater productions playing the part of Irwin in "Three Men on a Horse"
Returned to nightclub work; heckled off the stage in Las Vegas; bowed out of the engagement after a few days
Starred as a mild-mannered proofreader with remarkable abilities in the short-lived (four months) sitcom, "The Adventures of Hiram Holiday"
Signed a seven-year, $50,000-a-year contract to develop special projects for NBC
Wrote a play, "Moonbirds", which closed after three performances
Feature debut, "State Fair"
Co-starred in the unfinished Marilyn Monroe comedy "Something's Got to Give" directed by George Cukor with Dean Martin and Cyd Charisse
Guest starred as a programmer of an amorous computer in "From Agnes--With Love", an episode of "The Twilight Zone"
Provided the voices of the humble "Shoeshine Boy" and his heroic alter-ego "Underdog" on the popular Saturday morning cartoon from producer Jay Ward
Became regular panelist (in the upper left "square") on the tic-tac-toe game show "Hollywood Squares"
Portrayed a scoutmaster in the TV-movie pilot for "Ironside"
Appeared in TV commercials for Jockey Shorts
Final film appearance, "The Barefoot Executive", a Disney satire of TV programming
Final TV-movie, "The Night Strangler"; played a librarian who assists reporter-cum-supernatural investigator Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin)
Died of a heart attack in Bel Air; Brando flew in from Tahiti to handle the cremation