Funny people Who have passed on

by widdowmaker | created - 23 Jul 2012 | updated - 05 Sep 2016 | Public

R.I.P

1. Robin Williams

Actor | Mrs. Doubtfire

Robin McLaurin Williams was born on Saturday, July 21st, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois, a great-great-grandson of Mississippi Governor and Senator, Anselm J. McLaurin. His mother, Laurie McLaurin (née Janin), was a former model from Mississippi, and his father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, was a Ford ...

2. Andy Griffith

Actor | The Andy Griffith Show

Andy Griffith is best known for his starring roles in two very popular television series, The Andy Griffith Show (1960) and Matlock (1986). Griffith earned a degree in music from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In the 1950s, he became a regular on The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) and ...

3. Don Knotts

Actor | The Andy Griffith Show

Don Knotts, the legendary television character actor, was born Jesse Donald Knotts on July 21, 1924 in Morgantown, West Virginia, to William Jesse Knotts and the former Elsie L. Moore. He was the youngest of four sons in a family that had been in America since the 17th century.

His first stint as an...

4. Jerry Clower

Self | Nashville on the Road

Jerry Clower was born on September 28, 1926 in Liberty, Mississippi, USA as Howard Gerald Clower. He was married to Homerlene Wells. He died on August 24, 1998 in Jackson, Mississippi.

5. Jerry Reed

Soundtrack | Smokey and the Bandit

Tall, blond haired country & western singer / songwriter from Atlanta Georgia, who usually appears in films portraying good humored Southern type characters. Reed was already writing and singing music in high school, and was signed by Capitol Records to a three-year contract in 1955. However, in ...

6. Bernie Mac

Actor | The Bernie Mac Show

Bernard Jeffrey McCollough was born in 1957 in Chicago, the son of Mary McCullough and Jeffery Harrison. He grew up in the city, in a rougher neighborhood than most others, with a large family living under one roof. This situation provided him with a great insight into his comedy, as his family, ...

7. Curly Howard

Actor | Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise

Jerome "Curly" Howard, the rotund, bald Stooge with the high voice was the most popular member of The Three Stooges. His first stage experience was as a comedic conductor for the Orville Knapp Band in 1928. Curly joined The Three Stooges in 1932, replacing his brother Shemp Howard. He made more ...

8. Shemp Howard

Actor | Scrambled Brains

Shemp Howard was born Samuel Horwitz in Brooklyn, New York, USA. He was also the brother of fellow stooges Moe Howard and Curly Howard. Larry Fine was not related to any of the other stooges.

When not working with The Three Stooges, Shemp made a lot of feature film appearances, such as The Bank Dick...

9. Moe Howard

Actor | The Three Stooges Meet Hercules

Moe Howard, the "Boss Stooge" and brother of Stooges Curly Howard and Shemp Howard, began his acting career in 1909 by playing bit roles in silent Vitagraph films. At 17 he joined a troupe working on a showboat and also appeared in several two-reel comedy shorts. In 1922 he, brother Shemp and Larry...

10. Larry Fine

Actor | The Three Stooges Meet Hercules

Larry began performing as a violinist at a young age. During his teenage years, he earned his living as a singer and boxer. At 18, Larry began working vaudeville with "The Haney Sisters and Fine" and in 1925, he joined Ted Healy and Moe Howard in the act that would eventually become The Three ...

11. George Lindsey

Actor | The AristoCats

George Lindsey quickly became an icon on television in the 1960's playing the part of 'Goober Pyle" on the "Andy Griffith Show". He replaced Jim Nabors who portrayed "Gomer Pyle" who ran the "fillin station" on "The Andy Griffith Show". As Jim Nabors was tapped for his own show "Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C....

12. Charles Chaplin

Writer | The Great Dictator

Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the ...

13. John Candy

Actor | Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Candy was one of Canada's greatest and funniest character actors. His well-known role as the big hearted buffoon earned him classics in Uncle Buck (1989) and Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987). His career has handed him some dry spells but Candy always rebounded.

Born in Newmarket, Ontario, in ...

14. Irene Ryan

Actress | The Beverly Hillbillies

Before becoming known to millions as Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies (1962), Irene Ryan was already an established vaudeville, radio and movie actress, though not as famous prior to her television stint. She accompanied Bob Hope on his famous military tours and she was known as "the gal who makes...

15. John Belushi

Actor | Saturday Night Live

John Belushi was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on January 24, 1949, to Agnes Demetri (Samaras) and Adam Anastos Belushi, a restaurant owner. His father was an Albanian immigrant, from Qytezë, and his mother was also of Albanian descent. He grew up in Wheaton, where the family moved when he was ...

16. Mel Blanc

Actor | Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Mel Blanc, known as "The Man of Thousand Voices" is regarded as the most prolific actor to ever work in Hollywood with over a thousand screen credits. He developed and performed nearly 400 distinct character voices with precision and a uniquely expressive vocal range. The legendary specialist from ...

17. Johnny Carson

Soundtrack | The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson, the legendary "King of Late Night TV" who dominated the medium's nether hours for three decades, was born in Corning, Iowa, but moved with his family to nearby Norfolk, Nebraska when he was eight years old. It was in Norfolk, where he lived until he was inducted into the US Navy in ...

18. Buddy Ebsen

Actor | The Beverly Hillbillies

Buddy Ebsen began his career as a dancer in the late 1920s in a Broadway chorus. He later formed a vaudeville act with his sister Vilma Ebsen, which also appeared on Broadway. In 1935 he and his sister went to Hollywood, where they were signed for the first of MGM's Eleanor Powell movies, Broadway ...

19. Dom DeLuise

Actor | The Secret of NIMH

As might be said for the late and great comedians Harvey Korman and Madeline Kahn, it seems that Mel Brooks was the only director on the planet who knew how to best utilize this funnyman's talents on film. Brooks once quipped that, whenever he hired Dom DeLuise for one of his films, he would ...

20. Donna Douglas

Actress | The Beverly Hillbillies

An honest-to-goodness Southern Belle, similar to her most famous character role, "Elly May Clampett" on The Beverly Hillbillies (1962), Donna Douglas grew up in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area, loving "critters". She got married soon after high school, had a son, divorced and won a couple of beauty...

21. Richard Pryor

Actor | Superman III

Highly influential, and always controversial, African-American actor/comedian who was equally well known for his colorful language during his live comedy shows, as for his fast paced life, multiple marriages and battles with drug addiction. He has been acknowledged by many modern comic artist's as ...

22. Lucille Ball

Actress | I Love Lucy

The woman who will always be remembered as the crazy, accident-prone, lovable Lucy Ricardo was born Lucille Desiree Ball on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York. Her father died before she was four, and her mother worked several jobs, so she and her younger brother were raised by their ...

23. Andy Kaufman

Actor | Taxi

Referred to by some as a dadaistic comedian, Andy Kaufman took comedy and performance art to the edges of irrationality and blurred the dividing line between reality and imagination. Born in New York City on January 17, 1949, the first son of Stanley and Janice Kaufman, Andy grew up on New York in ...

24. Joe DeRita

Actor | The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze

Born into a show business family, DeRita began performing at the age of 7. He played the Burlesque circuit until 1942 when he went to headline in California stage shows. He toured with Randolph Scott and Bing Crosby for the USO during World War II. Joe made his film debut in "The Doughgirls" (1944)...

25. Chris Farley

Actor | Tommy Boy

Christopher Crosby Farley was born on February 15, 1964, in Madison, Wisconsin, to Mary Anne (Crosby) and Thomas Farley, who owned an oil company. Among his siblings are actors Kevin P. Farley and John Farley. He was of Irish heritage. Farley studied theatre and communications on Marquette ...

26. Red Skelton

Writer | The Red Skelton Show

The son of a former circus clown turned grocer and a cleaning woman, Red Skelton was introduced to show business at the age of seven by Ed Wynn, at a vaudeville show in Vincennes. At age 10, he left home to travel with a medicine show through the Midwest, and joined the vaudeville circuit at age 15....

27. Madeline Kahn

Actress | Paper Moon

Madeline Kahn was born Madeline Gail Wolfson on September 29, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Freda (Goldberg) and Bernard B. Wolfson, a garment manufacturer. She was of Russian Jewish descent. Madeline began her acting career in high school and went on to university where she trained as an opera...

28. Leslie Nielsen

Actor | Airplane!

Leslie William Nielsen was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, and raised in Tulita (formerly Fort Norman), Northwest Territories. His mother, Mabel Elizabeth (Davies), was Welsh. His father, Ingvard Eversen Nielsen, was a Danish-born Mountie and a strict disciplinarian. Leslie studied at the Academy of ...

29. George Burns

Actor | Oh, God!

George Burns was born on January 20, 1896 in New York City, New York, USA as Nathan Birnbaum. He was an actor and producer, known for Oh, God! (1977), Going in Style (1979) and The Sunshine Boys (1975). He was married to Gracie Allen and Hannah Siegel. He died on March 9, 1996 in Beverly Hills, Los...

30. Cleavon Little

Actor | Blazing Saddles

Versatile, charismatic African-American actor Cleavon Little was born on June 1, 1939, in Oklahoma but grew up in California and attended San Diego College. He earned a scholarship to Juilliard and moved to New York, then trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Art and was soon appearing ...

31. Harvey Korman

Actor | Blazing Saddles

Harvey Korman was a lanky, popular TV comedy veteran with a flair for broad comic characterizations, who shone for a decade as leading man and second banana par excellence on The Carol Burnett Show (1967).

Harvey Herschel Korman was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Ellen (Blecher) and Cyril Raymond ...

32. Slim Pickens

Actor | Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Slim Pickens spent the early part of his career as a real cowboy and the latter part playing cowboys, and he is best remembered for a single "cowboy" image: that of bomber pilot Maj. "King" Kong waving his cowboy hat rodeo-style as he rides a nuclear bomb onto its target in the great black comedy ...

33. Oliver Hardy

Actor | Sons of the Desert

Although his parents were never in show business, as a young boy Oliver Hardy was a gifted singer and, by age eight, was performing with minstrel shows. In 1910 he ran a movie theatre, which he preferred to studying law. In 1913 he became a comedy actor with the Lubin Company in Florida and began ...

34. Stan Laurel

Actor | Sons of the Desert

Stan Laurel came from a theatrical family, his father was an actor and theatre manager, and he made his stage debut at the age of 16 at Pickard's Museum, Glasgow. He traveled with Fred Karno's vaudeville company to the United States in 1910 and again in 1913. While with that company he was Charles ...

35. Rodney Dangerfield

Actor | Back to School

Rodney Dangerfield was born Jacob Cohen on November 22, 1921 in Deer Park, Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. He was the son of Dorothy "Dotty" (Teitelbaum) and Phillip Cohen, who performed in vaudeville under the name Phil Roy. His father was born in New York, to Russian Jewish parents, and ...

36. Buster Keaton

Actor | The General

Joseph Frank Keaton was born on October 4, 1895 in Piqua, Kansas, to Joe Keaton and Myra Keaton. Joe and Myra were Vaudevillian comedians with a popular, ever-changing variety act, giving Keaton an eclectic and interesting upbringing. In the earliest days on stage, they traveled with a medicine ...

37. Gilda Radner

Actress | Saturday Night Live

Gilda Radner was one of the great comic geniuses of the 20th century, ranked up with Lucille Ball and other comedy legends of the highest caliber. She was born on June 28, 1946, in Detroit, Michigan, the younger of two children of Henrietta (Dworkin), a legal secretary, and Herman Radner, a ...

38. Joe Besser

Actor | The Desert Hawk

Joe Besser was born on August 12, 1907 in St. Louis, Missouri. Short, chubby, balding, childish character actor who began his career on the vaudeville circuit before breaking into films in the early 1930s. He was a frequent foil of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in their films and played Stinky on ...

39. Audrey Hepburn

Actress | Breakfast at Tiffany's

Audrey Hepburn was born on May 4, 1929 in Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium. She was a blue-blood and a cosmopolitan from birth. Her mother, Baroness Ella Van Heemstra, was of a Dutch descent, and her father, Joseph Victor Anthony Hepburn-Ruston, was born in Úzice, Bohemia, and of an English and Austrian ...

40. W.C. Fields

Actor | It's a Gift

William Claude Dukenfield was the eldest of five children born to Cockney immigrant James Dukenfield and Philadelphia native Kate Felton. He went to school for four years, then quit to work with his father selling vegetables from a horse cart. At eleven, after many fights with his alcoholic father ...

41. Katharine Hepburn

Actress | The Lion in Winter

Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was ...

42. Don Adams

Actor | Get Smart

Don Adams was born in New York, to a father of Hungarian Jewish descent, and a mother of German and Irish ancestry. He had a sister, Gloria, and a brother, Dick Yarmy. He served in the U.S. Marines in World War II and contracted malaria during the fighting on Guadalcanal island. After the war he ...

43. Graham Chapman

Writer | Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Graham Chapman was born on January 8, 1941 in Leicester, England while a German air raid was in progress. Graham's father was a chief police inspector and probably inspired the constables Graham often portrayed later in comedy sketches. Graham studied medicine in college and earned an M.D., but he ...

44. Brittany Murphy

Actress | Just Married

Brittany Murphy was born Brittany Anne Bertolotti on November 10, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia, to Sharon Kathleen Murphy and Angelo Joseph Bertolotti. Her father's ancestry is Italian, and her mother is of Irish and Slovak descent. Her father moved the family back to Edison, New Jersey as a native New...

45. Harold Ramis

Writer | Ghostbusters

Born on November 21, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois, Harold Allen Ramis got his start in comedy as Playboy magazine's joke editor and reviewer. In 1969, he joined Chicago's Second City's Improvisational Theatre Troupe before moving to New York to help write and perform in "The National Lampoon Show" ...

46. John Ritter

Actor | Sling Blade

Jonathan Southworth Ritter was born in Burbank, California, on September 17, 1948. He was the son of legendary country singer/actor Tex Ritter and his wife, actress Dorothy Fay. The couple married in 1941 and had their first child, Tom Ritter, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. John was ...

47. Dr. Seuss

Writer | How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Acclaimed writer, Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Wednesday, March 2nd, 1904. After attending Dartmouth College and Oxford University, he began a career in advertising. His advertising cartoons, featuring Quick, Henry, the Flit!, appeared in several leading ...

48. Lisa Robin Kelly

Actress | That '70s Show

She first made her acting debut, at age 21, in a 1992 episode of Married... with Children (1987), and went on to guest-star in many popular television shows, such as Murphy Brown (1988), The X-Files (1993), Sisters (1991) and Silk Stalkings (1991) and appeared in many obscure, straight-to-video/TV ...

49. Gene Wilder

Actor | Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Gene Wilder was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Jeanne (Baer) and William J. Silberman, who manufactured miniature whiskey and beer bottles. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, while his Illinois-born mother was of Russian Jewish descent.

Wilder caught his first big break ...



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