Red Buttons - Rotten Tomatoes

Red Buttons

Highest Rated:   100% Sayonara (1957)
Lowest Rated:   0% When Time Ran Out (1980)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   New York City, New York, USA
The son of a milliner from New York City's Lower East Side, Aaron Chwatt became a performer after winning an amateur contest at age 12. Six years later he was a singing bellboy in a Bronx tavern. It is from the uniform that he took his famous moniker, Red Buttons. A talented and versatile performer of stage, screen, and television, Buttons is equally at home in dramatic or comedic roles, but it was as a burlesque comedian working in the Catskills Mountains that he first made a name for himself. Buttons first appeared on Broadway playing a supporting role in Vickie (1942). Buttons appeared in the play Winged Victory a short while later, and he reprised his role in the 1944 screen version. In 1952, the red-haired comedian starred in the CBS television series The Red Buttons Show. Extremely popular during its first season -- Button's distinctive theme song in which he'd clap his hands together as if in prayer and sing, "Ho Ho! He He! Ha Ha! Strange things are happening!" was a sort of hit amongst American kids -- it was a blend of variety acts and a weekly sitcom. The show declined in popularity its second season and was canceled, then picked up by NBC the following year where it ran in different formats until 1955. Button's career went into decline, but the feisty little performer made an auspicious comeback playing a love-struck American soldier who defies the racist policies of the U.S. military and marries a Japanese woman in the tragic Sayonara (1957). His role landed him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. After that Buttons became a prolific character actor who could always be counted upon to bring an extra dinemsion of believablity to the roles he played. From television to film it was always an adventure for Buttons, with his role as a soft-spoken survivor in The Poseidon Adventure and small screen roles in The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, The Cosby Show, and Roseanne serving well to keep the amiable actor busy and in the public eye. At the 2005 Emmys, Buttons was nominated for a "Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series" for his recurring role as Jules "Ruby" Rubadoux in the long-running medical drama ER. Just one year later Buttons would succumb to vascular disease at the age of 87.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Goodnight, We Love You: The Life and Legend of Phyllis Diller
  • Actor
2004
28% The Story of Us
  • Arnie
1999
No Score Yet Itzhak Perlman: In the Fiddler's House
  • Actor
1995
71% It Could Happen to You
  • Walter Zakuto
1994
No Score Yet The Ambulance
  • Elias
1990
29% 18 Again!
  • Charlie
1988
No Score Yet George Burns: His Wit and Wisdom
  • Actor
1988
No Score Yet Reunion at Fairborough
  • Jiggs
1985
No Score Yet Alice in Wonderland
  • White Rabbit
1985
No Score Yet The Power
  • Actor
1984
No Score Yet Leave 'em Laughing
  • Actor
1981
No Score Yet Side Show
  • Actor
1981
0% When Time Ran Out
  • Francis Fendly
1980
No Score Yet C.H.O.M.P.S.
  • Bracken
1979
No Score Yet Rudolph and Frosty: Christmas in July
  • Milton
1979
No Score Yet Movie Movie
  • Peanuts/Jinks Murphy
1978
No Score Yet Vega$
  • Actor
1978
50% Pete's Dragon
  • Hoagy
1977
17% Viva Knievel!
  • Ben Andrews
1977
No Score Yet Louis Armstrong---Chicago Style
  • Actor
1976
No Score Yet Gable and Lombard
  • Ivan Cooper
1976
79% The Poseidon Adventure
  • James Martin
1972
No Score Yet Who Killed Mary Whats'ername?
  • Mickey
1971
84% They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
  • Sailor
1969
No Score Yet Stagecoach
  • Peacock
1966
No Score Yet Harlow
  • Arthur Landau
1965
No Score Yet Your Cheatin' Heart
  • Shorty Younger
1964
No Score Yet A Ticklish Affair
  • Flight Officer Simon Shelley
1963
80% Gay Purr-ee
  • Robespierre
1962
No Score Yet Five Weeks in a Balloon
  • Donald O'Shay
1962
91% The Longest Day
  • Private John Steele
1962
67% Hatari!
  • Pockets
1962
94% One, Two, Three
  • Military Police Sergeant
1961
No Score Yet The Big Circus
  • Randy Sherman
1959
No Score Yet Imitation General
  • Cpl. Chan Derby
1958
100% Sayonara
  • Joe Kelly
1957
83% 13 Rue Madeleine
  • Dispatcher
1947

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet ER
1994-2009
  • Ruby Rubadoux Mr. Rubadoux
  • 2005
  • 1996
  • 1995
No Score Yet Roseanne
1988-1997
  • Jake
  • 1994
  • 1993
No Score Yet Little House on the Prairie
1974-1984
  • William 'Willie' O'Hara
  • 1975
No Score Yet Wonder Woman (1976)
1975-1979
  • Norman
  • 1975

Quotes from Red Buttons' Characters