Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson - Rotten Tomatoes

Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson

Highest Rated:   100% Topper Returns (1941)
Birthday:  
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
75% It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
  • Cab Driver
1963
No Score Yet The Show-Off
  • Rochester
1946
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
80% 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
94% Gone With the Wind
  • Uncle Peter
1939
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
91% 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
86% The Green Pastures
  • Noah
1936
100% Show Boat
  • Young Black Man
1936
No Score Yet What Price Hollywood?
  • James
1932
No Score Yet False Faces
  • Actor
1932

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Hawaii Five-0
2010
  • SWAT Commander K. Hidoko SWAT Commander
  • 2016
  • 2015

Quotes from Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson's Characters

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