Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson

Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson

  • Highest Rated: 100% Topper Returns (1941)
  • Lowest Rated: 69% It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
  • Birthday: Sep 18, 1905
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • African American comic actor Eddie Anderson was born into a show-business family: his father was a minstrel performer, and his mother a circus tightrope walker. Anderson entered show business at 14, teaming with his brother Cornelius in a song-and-dance act. His movie career began with a lengthy uncredited part as Lowell Sherman's valet in 1932's What Price Hollywood? The best of his earliest film assignments was the part of Noah in the 1936 cinemazation of Marc Connelly's all-black Broadway production The Green Pastures. On Easter Day of 1937, Anderson was engaged to play a one-shot role as a railway porter nicknamed Rochester on radio's The Jack Benny Program. Response was so overwhelmingly positive to Anderson's sandpaper voice and razor-sharp comic timing that the actor was hired as a regular on Benny's program, cast as Jack's know-it-all butler; it was an association which would last until Benny's death in 1974. In addition to his weekly radio duties, Anderson was co-starred with Benny in such films as Man About Town (1939), Buck Benny Rides Again (1940) Love Thy Neighbor (1941) and The Meanest Man in the World (1942); he also continued in the Rochester role on Benny's TV series, which ran until 1965. Outside of his work with Benny, Anderson played various tremulous chauffeurs and handymen in many other films, sometimes in a stereotypical fashion, but nearly always on equal footing with his white co-stars; indeed, his relationship with his screen "boss" Dennis O'Keefe in 1945's Brewster's Millions was so casual that the film was banned in lily-white Mississippi. In 1943, Anderson was afforded top billing in the MGM musical Cabin in the Sky, sharing screen time with such stellar black talent as Lena Horne, Ethel Waters, Rex Ingram and Louis Armstrong. One of the wealthiest black entertainers in the business, Anderson enhanced his film, radio and TV earnings with shrewd real estate investment. He suffered a stroke in the early 1960s which forced him to cut down his activities, though he was always available to work with Jack Benny in the latter's television specials. A prized "social awareness" moment occurred on a Benny special of the late 1960s when Jack invited "Rochester" to portray his servant once more. "But, boss," Eddie Anderson raspily responded, "we don't do that any more!"

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

69% It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Cab Driver 1963
No Score Yet The Show-Off Rochester 1946
No Score Yet The Sailor Takes a Wife Harry 1945
No Score Yet I Love a Bandleader Newton H. Newton (as Rochester) 1945
No Score Yet Brewster's Millions Jackson 1945
No Score Yet Broadway Rhythm Eddie 1944
No Score Yet Stormy Weather Actor 1943
85% Cabin in the Sky Little Joe Jackson 1943
No Score Yet The Meanest Man in the World Shufro 1943
No Score Yet Star Spangled Rhythm Specialty 1942
No Score Yet Tales of Manhattan Rev. Lazarus 1942
No Score Yet Birth of the Blues Louie 1941
100% Topper Returns Chauffeur 1941
No Score Yet Love Thy Neighbor Rochester 1940
No Score Yet Buck Benny Rides Again Rochester Van Jones 1940
No Score Yet You Can't Cheat an Honest Man Cheerful 1939
No Score Yet Honolulu Washington 1939
No Score Yet Going Places Groom 1939
No Score Yet Kentucky Groom 1938
No Score Yet Thanks for the Memory Janitor 1938
92% You Can't Take It With You Donald 1938
No Score Yet Gold Diggers in Paris Doorman 1938
94% Jezebel Gros Bat 1938
No Score Yet Over the Goal William 1937
No Score Yet Melody for Two Exodus Johnson 1937
No Score Yet Love Is News Actor 1937
No Score Yet Rainbow on the River Doctor 1936
No Score Yet Three Men on a Horse Moses 1936
81% The Green Pastures Noah 1936
100% Show Boat Young Black Man 1936
No Score Yet The Music Goes 'Round Actor 1936
No Score Yet What Price Hollywood? James 1932
No Score Yet Hat Check Girl Walter 1932
No Score Yet False Faces Actor 1932

TV

Rating

Title

Credit

Year

57% Magnum P.I.
2018
SWAT Commander
  • 2019
No Score Yet Hawaii Five-0
2010
SWAT Captain SWAT Commander K. Hidoko SWAT Commander
  • 2019
  • 2016
  • 2015

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