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Art Carney


“An actor can survive a bad play, particularly if his performance is well received. But a bad movie…”



Though Art Carney would grow up to become a shy, retiring, self-effacing man, he was quite the class clown in school. HIs grades never rising above mediocre, Carney excelled in mimicry, performing astonishingly accurate imitations of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fred Allen, Ned Sparks, and other 1930s luminaries. This skill enabled him to win a number of New York-based amateur contests, and in 1938 landed him a spot as musician/comedian with the Horace Heidt orchestra. Extensive radio work followed, notably Heidt’s weekly quiz show Pot of Gold, which when made into a film in 1941 featured Carney in an uncredited role. While serving in WWII, Carney endured a serious leg wound which left him with a permanent limp. Fortunately this infliction did not impede his postwar radio work; he acted on such dramatic programs as Gangbusters and Dimension X, and appeared as a comedy foil for such major stars as Bert Lahr and Henry Morgan. He moved into television in 1948, playing a comic waiter on The Morey… read more


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