Phil Silvers

Highest Rated: 100% All Through the Night (1941)
Birthday: May 11, 1911
Birthplace: Not Available
Growing up in the squalid Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Phil Silvers used his excellent tenor voice and facility for cracking jokes to escape a life of poverty. He was discovered as a young teen by vaudevillian Gus Edwards who hired him to perform in his schoolroom act. Silvers' singing career ended when his voice changed at 16, whereupon he took acting jobs in various touring vaudeville sketches. During his subsequent years in burlesque, he befriended fellow comic Herbie Faye, with whom he would work off and on for the rest of his career. While headlining in burlesque, Silvers was signed to star in the 1939 Broadway musical comedy Yokel Boy. This led to film work, first in minor roles, then as comedy relief in such splashy 1940s musicals as Coney Island (1943) and Cover Girl (1944). Silvers became popular if not world famous with his trademark shifty grin, horn-rimmed glasses, balding pate, and catchphrases like "Gladda see ya!" He returned to Broadway in 1947, where he starred as a turn-of-the-century con man in the Jule Styne-Sammy Cahn musical High Button Shoes. In 1950, he scored another stage success as a Milton Berle-like TV comedian in Top Banana, which won him the Tony and Donaldson Awards. From 1955 through 1959, Silvers starred as the wheeling-dealing Sgt. Ernie Bilko on the hit TV series You'll Never Get Rich, for which he collected five Emmy awards. Upon the demise of this series, Silvers stepped into another success, the 1960 Styne-Comden-Green Broadway musical Do Re Mi. The failure of his 1963 sitcom The New Phil Silvers Show marked a low point in his career, but the ever scrappy Silvers bounced back again to appear in films and TV specials. In 1971, he starred in a revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (nine years after turning down the original 1962 production because he felt the show "wouldn't go anywhere."). He collected yet another Tony for his efforts -- then suffered a severe stroke in August of 1972. While convalescing, Silvers wrote his very candid autobiography, The Laugh Is on Me. He recovered to the extent that he could still perform, but his speech was slurred and his timing was gone. Still, Silvers was beloved by practically everyone in show business, so he never lacked for work. Phil Silvers was the father of actress Cathy Silvers, best known for her supporting work on the TV series Happy Days.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet There Goes the Bride Actor 2004
No Score Yet Gene Kelly - Anatomy of a Dancer Actor 2002
No Score Yet Surviving Gilligan's Island Actor 2002
No Score Yet Hidden Hollywood, Vol. 2: More Treasures From the 20th Century Fox Vaults Actor 2000
No Score Yet The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood (Hollywood Blue) Actor 1980
No Score Yet There Goes the Bride Psychiatrist 1980
No Score Yet Racquet Arthur Sargent 1979
43% The Cheap Detective Hoppy 1978
No Score Yet The Chicken Chronicles Max Ober 1977
No Score Yet Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood Murray Fromberg 1976
No Score Yet The Strongest Man in the World Krinkle 1975
No Score Yet Kolchak: The Night Stalker Director Actor 1974
No Score Yet The Boatniks Harry Simmons 1970
No Score Yet Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell Phil Newman 1968
57% A Guide for the Married Man Technical Advisor 1967
No Score Yet Carry On... Follow That Camel (Carry on in the Legion) Sgt. Nocker 1967
84% A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Lycus 1966
73% It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Otto Meyer 1963
No Score Yet 40 Pounds of Trouble Bernie 1963
No Score Yet Lucky Me Hap Snyder 1954
No Score Yet Top Banana Jerry Biffle 1954
No Score Yet Summer Stock Herb Blake 1950
No Score Yet If I'm Lucky Wallingham M. 'Wally' Jones 1946
No Score Yet A Thousand and One Nights Abdullah 1945
No Score Yet Diamond Horseshoe Blinky Walker 1945
No Score Yet Something for the Boys Harry Hart 1944
94% Cover Girl Genius 1944
No Score Yet Four Jills in a Jeep Eddie 1944
No Score Yet Take It or Leave It Himself 1944
No Score Yet A Lady Takes a Chance Smiley Lambert 1943
No Score Yet Just Off Broadway Roy Higgins 1942
No Score Yet My Gal Sal Wiley 1942
No Score Yet Footlight Serenade Slap 1942
80% Roxie Hart Babe 1942
100% All Through the Night Waiter 1941
No Score Yet Lady Be Good M.C. 1941
100% Tom, Dick and Harry Ice Cream Man 1941
No Score Yet Strike Up the Band Pitchman 1940

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet Happy Days
1974-1984
Jenny's Dad
  • 1981
No Score Yet Charlie's Angels
1976-1981
Max Brown
  • 1977
No Score Yet The Flip Wilson Show
1970-1974
Guest
  • 1972
No Score Yet The Beverly Hillbillies
1962-1971
Shifty Shafer
  • 1970
  • 1969
  • 1965
90% Gilligan's Island
1964-1967
Harold Hecuba
  • 1966
No Score Yet The Phil Silvers Show
1955-1959
Sgt. Ernie Bilko Master Sgt. Ernie Bilko
  • 1959
  • 1958
  • 1957
  • 1956
  • 1955

QUOTES FROM Phil Silvers CHARACTERS

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