Rodney Dangerfield, 1921 - 2004

portrait of Rodney Dangerfield
At Shorehaven Beach Club, New York, 1978 Photo by Jim Accordino (CCA3)
Rodney Dangerfield signature
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Born: 22 November 1921, Babylon, New York
Died: 5 October 2004, Los Angeles, California

Born Jacob Cohen, his father Philip was a vaudeville performer who used the name Phil Roy. Jacob started writing jokes for standup comics as a teenager, took the stage as "Jack Roy" himself at 19. He struggled for nine years before giving it up to sell siding. He later said, "At the time I quit, I was the only one who knew I quit!" In the early '60s he decided to try again, adopting the name "Rodney Dangerfield", a name that had been used by Jack Benny and Ricky Nelson, and the familiar persona to go with it. He caught a break when The Ed Sullivan Show was faced with a last-minute cancellation, and the grumpy character that "got no respect" was a hit. He was back several more times, was a regular on The Dean Martin Show, appeared 35 times on The Tonight Show, and headlined in Las Vegas. He bought a Manhattan club which he named "Dangerfield's" which became a springboard for a host of younger talent. He appeared in several movies, notably Caddyshack, Easy Money, and Natural Born Killers. He died after being in a coma for several weeks following heart surgery. His tombstone at reads "Rodney Dangerfield: There goes the neighborhood."

Biography from Wikipedia and NNDB

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