Don Ameche

Highest Rated: 92% Heaven Can Wait (1943)
Lowest Rated: 0% Folks! (1992)
Birthday: May 31, 1908
Birthplace: Not Available
Though his popularity rose and fell during his long career, American actor Don Ameche, born Dominic Amici in Kenosha, WI, was one of Hollywood's most enduring stars. He began his acting career in college, where he had been studying law. He had a natural gift for acting and got his first professional opportunity when he filled in for a missing lead in the stock theater production of Excess Baggage. After that, he forewent his law career and became a full-time theatrical actor. He also worked briefly in vaudeville beside Texas Guinan. Following that he spent five years as a radio announcer. He made his screen debut in a feature short, Beauty at the World's Fair (1933). Following this, Ameche moved to Hollywood where he screen-tested with MGM; they rejected him. In 1935, he managed to obtain a small role in Clive of India and this resulted in his signing a seven-year contract with 20th Century Fox. Ameche, with his trim figure, pencil-thin mustache, and rich baritone voice was neither a conventionally handsome leading man nor the dashing hero type. Instead he embodied a wholesomeness and bland honesty that made him the ideal co-lead and foil for the more complex heroes. He played supporting roles for many years before he came into his own playing the leads in light romances and musicals such as Alexander's Rag Time Band (1938), where he demonstrated a real flair for romantic comedy. In 1939, Ameche played the title role in the classic biopic The Story of Alexander Graham Bell. The film was a tremendous success and for years afterward, fans quipped that it was he, not Bell who invented the telephone; for a time the telephone was even called an "ameche." He continued working steadily through the mid-'40s and then his film career ground to an abrupt halt. He returned to radio to play opposite Frances Langford in the long-running and popular series The Bickersons. During the 1950s he worked occasionally on television.He began appearing infrequently in low-budget films during the '60s and '70s, but did not make a comeback proper until 1983, when he was cast as a replacement for the ailing Ray Milland in the comedy Trading Places. The success of this film brought Ameche back in demand. In 1985, the aging actor received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work as a retirement home Casanova in Cocoon. He followed up that role to even more acclaim in 1988's David Mamet-Shel Silverstein concoction Things Change, in which Ameche played the role of a impish shoemaker chosen to take the fall for a mob hit. Before his death in 1993, Ameche rounded out his career with brief but memorable performances in Oscar (1991) and Corrina, Corrina (1994).

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (The Modern Miracle) Alexander Graham Bell 2000
No Score Yet Hidden Hollywood: Treasures From The 20th Century Fox Vaults Actor 1997
39% Corrina, Corrina Grandpa Harry 1994
87% Homeward Bound - The Incredible Journey Shadow 1993
0% Folks! Harry 1992
No Score Yet Sunstroke Jake 1992
12% Oscar Father Clemente 1991
No Score Yet Oddball Hall G. Paul Siebriese 1991
33% Cocoon: The Return Art Selwyn 1988
83% Things Change Gino 1988
67% Coming to America Mortimer Duke 1988
42% Harry and the Hendersons Dr. Wallace Wrightwood 1987
No Score Yet Pals Art Riddle 1987
77% Cocoon Art Selwyn 1985
86% Trading Places Mortimer Duke 1983
No Score Yet Suitable for Framing Actor 1971
No Score Yet Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came? Col. Flanders 1970
No Score Yet The Boatniks Cmdr. Taylor 1970
No Score Yet Rings Around the World Actor 1967
No Score Yet Picture Mommy Dead Edward Shelley 1966
No Score Yet Slightly French John Gayle 1949
No Score Yet Sleep, My Love Richard Courtland 1947
No Score Yet That's My Man Joe Grange 1947
No Score Yet So Goes My Love Hiram Stephen Maxim 1946
No Score Yet It's in the Bag Guest Star 1945
No Score Yet Guest Wife Joe 1945
No Score Yet Greenwich Village Kenneth Harvey 1944
80% Wing and a Prayer Flight Cmdr. Bingo Harper 1944
No Score Yet Happy Land Lew Marsh 1943
92% Heaven Can Wait Henry Van Cleve 1943
No Score Yet The Magnificent Dope Dwight Dawson 1942
No Score Yet The Feminine Touch Prof. John Hathaway 1941
No Score Yet Moon Over Miami Phil O'Neil 1941
No Score Yet That Night in Rio Impersonator Larry Martin / Baron Manuel Duarte 1941
No Score Yet Down Argentine Way Ricardo Quintana 1940
No Score Yet Lillian Russell Edward Solomon 1940
No Score Yet Hollywood Cavalcade Mike Connors 1939
92% Midnight Tibor Czerny 1939
No Score Yet The Three Musketeers D'Artagnan 1939
No Score Yet Land of Liberty Actor 1939
80% Alexander's Ragtime Band Charlie Dwyer 1938
No Score Yet Happy Landing Jimmy Hall 1938
No Score Yet Love Is News Marty Canavan 1937
67% In Old Chicago Jack O'Leary 1937
No Score Yet Ladies in Love Dr. Rudi Imre 1936
No Score Yet One in a Million Bob Harris 1936
No Score Yet Dante's Inferno Man in Stokehold 1935

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet The Golden Girls
1985-1992
  • 1990
No Score Yet Quincy, M.E.
1976-1983
Harry Whitehead
  • 1979
No Score Yet Columbo
1968-2003
Frank Simpson
  • 1971

QUOTES FROM Don Ameche CHARACTERS