Jack Benny

Jack Benny

Highest Rated: 96% To Be or Not to Be (1942)

Lowest Rated: 43% The Hollywood Revue (1929)

Birthday: Feb 14, 1894

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Masterful, much-loved comedian and comic actor, an influential yet essentially inimitable staple of radio and later TV for half a century. Benny's star persona was famous for its cynical, worrisome nature; its miserliness; and for Benny's insistence on playing the violin (poorly) at social gatherings. In real life Benny was actually an accomplished violinist--hence his ability to butcher it so well. Among many comic mannerisms Benny perfected were a highly deliberate, leisurely paced line delivery; and, best of all, a withering, long-suffering stare at the camera as he endured other characters' many intended or accidental insults. Among the loyal comic company he cultivated were announcer Don Wilson and singer Dennis Day, his real-life wife Mary Livingstone, and most memorable of all, Eddie Anderson as "Rochester," the valet with whom Benny shared a surprisingly intimate and complex relationship. Benny made very occasional films beginning with the coming of sound. He was at his busiest in the 1930s and early 1940s, and films ranging from "Chasing Rainbows" (1930) to "Broadway Melody of 1936" (1935), "Artists and Models" (1937), and "The Meanest Man in the World" (1943) all gave him some good one-liners and comic situations, but somehow Hollywood films never quite suited him. His unique star persona rarely found the right vehicles, and it was up to radio and later TV to showcase him properly. Two memorable exceptions were the cross-dressing farce "Charley's Aunt" (1941) and especially Ernst Lubitsch's hilarious dark satire of Nazism, "To Be or Not to Be" (1942), with Benny in peak form as hammy Polish actor Joseph Tura outwitting the Gestapo.

Highest rated movies

To Be or Not to Be
Broadway Melody of 1936
The Horn Blows at Midnight

Photos

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Man Cameo appearance (Character) - 1971
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Slowest Gun in the West Chicken Finsterwald (Character) - 1960
No Score Yet No Score Yet Beau James Self - 1957
No Score Yet No Score Yet Somebody Loves Me Self - 1952
No Score Yet No Score Yet You Can Change the World Self - 1950
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Lucky Stiff Producer - 1949
67% 66% The Horn Blows at Midnight Athanael (Character) - 1945
No Score Yet 56% It's in the Bag Self - 1945
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Meanest Man in the World Richard Clarke (Character) - 1943
96% 93% To Be or Not to Be Joseph Tura/Prof. Alexander Siletsky (Character) - 1942
No Score Yet 71% George Washington Slept Here Bill Fuller (Character) - 1942
No Score Yet 50% Charley's Aunt Babbs Babberley (Character) - 1941
No Score Yet No Score Yet Love Thy Neighbor Jack Benny (Character) - 1940
No Score Yet No Score Yet Buck Benny Rides Again Jack Benny (Character) - 1940
No Score Yet No Score Yet Man About Town Bob Temple (Character) - 1939
No Score Yet No Score Yet Artists and Models Abroad Buck Boswell (Character) - 1937
No Score Yet 67% Artists and Models Mac Brewster (Character) - 1937
No Score Yet 54% The Big Broadcast of 1937 Jack Carson (Character) - 1936
No Score Yet 0% College Holiday J. Davis Bowster (Character) - 1936
89% 76% Broadway Melody of 1936 Bert Keeler (Character) - 1935
No Score Yet No Score Yet It's in the Air Calvin Churchill (Character) - 1935
No Score Yet No Score Yet Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round Chad Denby (Character) - 1934
No Score Yet No Score Yet Medicine Man Dr. John Harvey (Character) - 1930
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Rounder Mr. Bartlett (Character) - 1930
No Score Yet No Score Yet Chasing Rainbows Eddie Rock (Character) - 1930
43% 22% The Hollywood Revue Self - 1929

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Forsaken Westerns Tex Morgan (Character) 2019
No Score Yet No Score Yet Johnny Carson Guest 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Guest 1972
No Score Yet No Score Yet Here's Lucy Unknown (Guest Star) 1968 1970-1971
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Lawrence Welk Show Music Performer 1971
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Lucy Show Unknown (Guest Star) 1964 1967
No Score Yet No Score Yet What's My Line? Guest 1953 1959 1966
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Jack Benny Program Unknown (Character) 1950-1965
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Danny Kaye Show Guest 1963
No Score Yet No Score Yet I've Got a Secret Unknown (Character) 1963
No Score Yet No Score Yet Checkmate Jack Bowen (Guest Star) 1962
No Score Yet No Score Yet Startime Unknown (Character) 1959
No Score Yet No Score Yet The George Burns Show Unknown (Guest Star) 1958
No Score Yet No Score Yet Shower of Stars Unknown (Character) 1957
No Score Yet No Score Yet Climax! Unknown (Character) 1956
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Burns and Allen Show Unknown (Guest Star) 1953 1956