Ed Sullivan

Ed Sullivan

Highest Rated: 89% Bye Bye Birdie (1963)

Lowest Rated: 89% Bye Bye Birdie (1963)

Birthday: Sep 28, 1901

Birthplace: New York, New York, USA

For generations of Americans, the name Ed Sullivan was synonymous with entertainment and showmanship, thanks to an influential career spanning decades and a legacy that lived on well after his passing. A native of New York City, he began as a sportswriter, radio personality, and nightclub emcee before being tapped in 1948 to host a vaudevillian type of show on the new medium of television. Originally titled "Toast of the Town," the program was eventually renamed "The Ed Sullivan Show" (CBS, 1948-1971) after becoming one of the most popular shows of its day under his direction. Sullivan was undeniably a star-maker, and arguably, an arbiter of national taste, showcasing the hottest new acts like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, alongside up-and-coming comedians, such as George Carlin and Richard Pryor. This was in addition to an ever-changing roster of classical pianists, dance troupes, plate-spinners, puppets, and anything else he felt would entertain his vast viewing audience. While conservative in his personal views, Sullivan was an avid supporter of African-American performers, flying in the face of controversy when he showcased acts like The Supremes, The Four Tops, and The Jackson 5. As the cultural landscape began to shift in the late 1960s, Sullivan's ratings slipped out of the Top 20 slot it had held for so long, and in 1971 "The Ed Sullivan Show" was cancelled. It was telling, however, that decades after his series went off the air, many entertainment giants still expressed debts of gratitude to Sullivan, and hammy emcees in small towns everywhere were still kicking off talent shows with the exclamation that audiences were in for "a really big shoo."

Photos

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet 57% The Singing Nun Self - 1966
No Score Yet 88% Beatles - Ed Sullivan Presents the Beatles: 4 Complete Shows Unknown (Character) - 1964
89% 66% Bye Bye Birdie Self - 1963
No Score Yet No Score Yet Elvis Presley: The Ed Sullivan Shows - The Performances Unknown (Character) - 1955

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet That Show Guest 1968
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Red Skelton Show Unknown (Guest Star) 1954 1968
No Score Yet No Score Yet What's My Line? Guest 1950 1958 1963 1966
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Jack Benny Program Unknown (Guest Star) 1959
No Score Yet No Score Yet I've Got a Secret Guest 1955