Eddie Bracken


Actor
Eddie Bracken

About

Also Known As
Edward Vincent Bracken
Birth Place
Queens, New York, USA
Born
February 07, 1915
Died
November 14, 2002
Cause of Death
Complications Of Surgery Following A Fall In His Home

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-sufferi...

Family & Companions

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

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."

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 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."

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Assault at West Point (1994)
Baby's Day Out (1994)
Rookie of the Year (1993)
Arthur Miller's American Clock (1993)
Oscar (1991)
The Wind in the Willows (1987)
Voice
National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
Shinbone Alley (1971)
[Voice of ] Archy
Wild Wild World (1965)
Narrator
A Slight Case of Larceny (1953)
Frederick Winthrop Clopp
About Face (1952)
Boff Roberts
We're Not Married! (1952)
Willie Fisher
Two Tickets to Broadway (1951)
Lew Conway
Summer Stock (1950)
Orville Wingait
The Girl from Jones Beach (1949)
Chuck Donovan
Ladies' Man (1947)
Henry Haskell
Fun on a Weekend (1947)
Peter Porter, also known as Peterson Price Porterhouse III
Bring on the Girls (1945)
J. Newport Bates
Hold That Blonde (1945)
Ogden Spencer Trulow III
Out of This World (1945)
Herbie Fenton
Duffy's Tavern (1945)
Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)
Woodrow LaFayette Pershing Truesmith
The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944)
Norval Jones
Rainbow Island (1944)
Toby Smith
Star Spangled Rhythm (1943)
Johnny Webster
Happy Go Lucky (1943)
Wally Case
Young and Willing (1943)
George Bodell
The Fleet's In (1942)
Barney Waters
Sweater Girl (1942)
Jack Mitchell
Caught in the Draft (1941)
Bert
Reaching for the Sun (1941)
Benny Hogan
Life with Henry (1941)
"Dizzy" Stevens
Too Many Girls (1940)
Jojo Jordan

Cast (Special)

Eddie Albert: A Passion For Life (2001)
Mitzi Gaynor: Hollywood's Cockeyed Optimist (2001)
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs (2000)
The Ryan Interview (2000)
Bob Ryan
Mickey Rooney: Hollywood's Little Giant (1995)
Stars and Stripes: Hollywood and World War II (1991)
Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer (1990)
Show Boat (1989)
The Haunted Trailer (1977)
Mr Simpson
Archy and Mehitabel (1960)
Archy
The Strawberry Blonde (1959)
Hugo Barnstead

Music (Special)

Show Boat (1989)
Song Performer

Life Events

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"

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

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

1953

Last film for almost a decade, "A Slight Case of Larceny"

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"

1970

Became co-owner of the Staircase Theatre

1971

Supplied one of the voices for the animated musical comedy, "Shinbone Alley"

1983

Returned to feature films to appear in a supporting role in "National Lampoon's Vacation"

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

Last film role to date, a small part in "Baby's Day Out"

1994

Played Father Burke on the NBC primetime drama series, "Winnetka Road"

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"

Photo Collections

Two Tickets to Broadway - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from RKO's Two Tickets to Broadway (1951). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Fleet's In - Movie Posters
The Fleet's In - Movie Posters

Videos

Movie Clip

Miracle Of Morgan's Creek, The (1944) - The Bell In The Bay Writer-director Preston Sturges introduces both his leads, Betty Hutton as Trudy Kockenlocker in a famous bit, with a song composed by Sturges, entertaining soldiers about to deploy, and Eddie Bracken as dejected, service-ineligible Norval, in the landmark home-front comedy, The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek, 1944.
Miracle Of Morgan's Creek, The (1944) - Swaffled Or Something! The morning after the soldier’s sendoff party, where Trudy (Betty Hutton) drank spiked lemonade and got bonked on the head, she picks up Norval (Eddie Bracken) who provided her alibi and loaned her his car, way later than they should be, concocting a story for her father, in writer-director Preston Sturges’ The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek, 1944.
Miracle Of Morgan's Creek, The (1944) - Let's All Get Married! Betty Hutton as Trudy Kockenlocker is let loose in an action sequence by writer-director Preston Sturges, in the car borrowed from her 4-F boyfriend, all-in for the sendoff for the soldiers shipping out, to the church basement, the country club, then the juke joint, Len Hendry the soldier with the big idea, in The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek, 1944.
Hail The Conquering Hero (1944) - He Could Be President Woodrow (Eddie Bracken), overwhelmed and intending to confess that he never served in the Marine Corps, can’t stop the judge (Jimmy Conlin) and Doc Bissell (Harry Hayden), who have nominated him for mayor on his homecoming, in Preston Sturges’ Hail The Conquering Hero, 1944.
Hail The Conquering Hero (1944) - Chronic Hay Fever In a single take by writer-director Preston Sturges, Woodrow (Eddie Bracken) tells his life story to Heffelfinger (William Demarest) and the Marines (Freddie Steele, Jimmy Dundee, James Lamore et al) in Hail The Conquering Hero, 1944.
Hail The Conquering Hero (1944) - Home To The Arms Of Mother Seamless opening scene from writer-director Preston Sturges, introducing Woodrow (Eddie Bracken) crying in his beer, and Marines led by Heffelfinger (William Demarest), in Hail The Conquering Hero, 1944.
Hail The Conquering Hero (1944) - He's Got Jungle Fever Craziness at the homecoming for Woodrow (Eddie Bracken), pressed by Sarge (William Demarest), who served with his father, not to tell his mother (Georgia Caine) he was rejected by the Marines, Torben Meyer the neighbor, Ella Raines his ex-girl, who hasn't told him she's engaged, in Preston Sturges' Hail The Conquering Hero, 1944.
Girl From Jones Beach, The (1949) - I Found The Randolph Girl! Wacky talent agent Chuck (Eddie Bracken) is attempting suicide again, when he accidentally spies the sunbathing Virginia Mayo (title character), who is a dead ringer for the imaginary model artist Randolph (Ronald Reagan) has been drawing, and needs to find, in The Girl From Jones Beach, 1949.
Girl From Jones Beach, The (1949) - Nobody's Ever Seen Her Eddie Bracken as talent agent Chuck pitches the secretary (Helen Westcott) then popular fashion illustrator Randolph (Ronald Reagan), on an offer from a sponsor who wants him and his mystery model for a TV show, with Myrna Dell, and Chester Clute the repo man, in The Girl From Jones Beach, 1949.
Girl From Jones Beach, The (1949) - We Speak Only American Knowing that Ruth (Virginia Mayo), who is the exact likeness of his imaginary swimsuit model, refuses to be recognized for her looks, fashion artist Bob (Ronald Reagan) adopts a false identity in her night school class, aiming to sign her up for a big money TV offer, in The Girl From Jones Beach, 1949.
Fleet's In, The (1942) -- Open, Title Song Rousing opening, with Eddie Bracken and William Holden in the ranks, as Barbara Britton performs the title song by Johnny Mercer and director Victor Schertzinger, in Paramount's The Fleet's In, 1942.
Fleet's In, The (1942) - Build A Better Mouse Trap Betty Hutton (as "Bessie") assaults Eddie Bracken (as sailor "Barney"), in their first-ever scene together, before she performs "If You Build A Better Mouse Trap," in Paramount's The Fleet's In, 1942.

Trailer

Family

Joseph L Bracken
Father
Catherine Bracken
Mother
Judy Bracken Gordon
Daughter
Carolyn Bracken
Daughter
Michael Bracken
Son
Susan Bracken
Daughter
David Bracken
Son

Companions

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

Bibliography

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."