Remembering the guest stars from the original classic 'Muppet Show' who passed away over the past years and this year as wellby cartoonman-32324 | created - 27 Nov 2016 | updated - 09 Sep 2017 | Public
Actress | G.I. Blues
Born in India to South African parents, Juliet studied to be a dancer from the age of 4. Attending the Royal Academy of Dance, by the time Juliet was 14, she was deemed too tall to enter the world of ballet. She signed as a chorus dancer with the London Palladium and then pursued a career as a ...
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 ...
3. Lena Horne
Soundtrack | Cabin in the Sky
Lena Calhoun Horne was born June 30, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York. In her biography she stated that, on the day she was born, her father was in the midst of a card game trying to get money to pay the hospital costs. Her parents divorced while she was still a toddler. Her mother left later in order ...
Actor | Spartacus
Peter Ustinov was a two-time Academy Award-winning film actor, a director, writer, journalist and raconteur. He wrote and directed many acclaimed stage plays and led numerous international theatrical productions.
He was born Peter Alexander Freiherr von Ustinov on April 16, 1921, in Swiss Cottage, ...
Actor | Robin Hood: Men in Tights
His 1960s and 1970s partner on the comedy stage was Jack Burns, the slimmer, chatty, clean-cut, better-looking dunderhead. Avery Schreiber was the Oliver Hardy counterpart who bore the brunt of Burns' verbal drone. This rumpled, gap-toothed, hefty-sized master of the slow boil stood out among the ...
Actress | A Bug's Life
The indefatigable nonagenarian finally put out an autobiography in 2005 and entitled it "Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse", which pretty much says it all when recalling the misfit life and career of the fabulous, one-of-a-kind Phyllis Diller. It may inspire all those bored, discouraged and/or ...
Actor | Laura
Actor, raconteur, art collector and connoisseur of haute cuisine are just some of the attributes associated with Vincent Price. He was born of Welsh ancestry to prosperous parents ("not rich enough to evoke envy but successful enough to demand respect"). His uniquely cultivated voice and persona ...
8. Ethel Merman
Actress | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
Born in the Astoria section of Queens, New York City, Ethel Merman surely is the pre-eminent star of 'Broadway' musical comedy. Though untrained in singing, she could belt out a song like quite no one else, and was sought after by major songwriters such as Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. Having ...
Actor | Viva el espectáculo
Andres Bossard was born on August 9, 1944 in Zürich, Switzerland. He was an actor, known for Viva el espectáculo (1990), Mummenschanz (1978) and Late Night with David Letterman (1982). He died on March 25, 1992.
Actress | The Brady Bunch
Florence Henderson was considered by protocol executive Jerold Franks, CSA to be "...one of the most generous stars I have ever worked with." Los Angeles, New York and all parts of the country, Florence has helped raise millions of dollars for various charitable organizations.
Jerold Franks, friend ...
11. 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...
12. Zero Mostel
Actor | The Producers
Zero Mostel was born Samuel Joel Mostel on February 28, 1915 in Brooklyn, New York, one of eight children of an Orthodox Jewish family. Raised in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the young Zero, known as Sammy, developed his talent for painting and drawing at art classes provided by the ...
13. Milton Berle
Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
Milton Berle was born Milton Berlinger on July 12, 1908, in New York City, to Sarah (Glantz) and Moses Berlinger, a paint and varnish salesman. He was educated at New York Professional Children's School and began performing at age 5. His first stage appearance was in "Florodora" in Atlantic City, ...
14. Nancy Walker
Actress | Rhoda
They say big things often come in small packages, and never was that saying more true than when sizing up the talents of that diminutive dynamo Nancy Walker. Born Anna Myrtle Swoyer in Philadelphia on May 10, 1922, she lived a born-in-a-trunk existence as the daughter of vaudevillian Dewey Barto (...
15. Edgar Bergen
Actor | Fun & Fancy Free
Edgar Bergen was born on February 16, 1903 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Edgar John Berggren. He was an actor, known for Fun & Fancy Free (1947), The Muppet Movie (1979) and Letter of Introduction (1938). He was married to Frances Bergen. He died on September 30, 1978 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
16. Madeline Kahn
Actress | Paper Moon
Madeline Kahn was born Madeline Gail Wolfson on September 29, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Freda (Goldberg) (later known as Paula Kahn) 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 ...
17. 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...
18. 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 ...
19. Rudolf Nureyev
Actor | Valentino
He was an ethnic Tatar. He was educated at the Leningrad Ballet School and starred with Kirov Ballet. His first film was a USSR short Le Corsaire (1958). While performing in Paris in 1961 he defected to the West. He then performed internationally, becoming an Austrian citizen in 1982. The English/...
20. Lou Rawls
Soundtrack | Payback
Rawls was born on 1st December 1933 in Chicago, Illinois. His father abandoned his family and Lou was raised by his grandmother. His first meeting with music was when he was seven years old, in a Baptist church choir. He was mostly influenced by the Chicago Regal theatre where he had the ...
21. Peter Sellers
Actor | Being There
Often credited as the greatest comedian of all time, Peter Sellers was born Richard Henry Sellers to a well-off acting family in 1925 in Southsea, a suburb of Portsmouth. He was the son of Agnes Doreen "Peg" (Marks) and William "Bill" Sellers. His parents worked in an acting company run by his ...
22. Bob Hope
Actor | The Ghost Breakers
Comedian Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, London, England, the fifth of seven sons of Avis (Townes), light opera singer, and William Henry Hope, a stonemason from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. His maternal grandmother was Welsh. Hope moved to Bristol before emigrating with his parents...
23. Teresa Brewer
Soundtrack | Those Redheads from Seattle
Teresa Brewer made her debut on "The Major Bowes Amateur Hour" radio program in 1936 and toured with the show until 1943. She made her first recording in 1949 and her first big record was "Music! Music! Music!" It debuted on 4 February 1950 and was Number 1 on the Top 10 charts for four weeks.
24. 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 ...
25. Pearl Bailey
Soundtrack | The Fox and the Hound
Her father Joseph was a minister and her mother was named Ella Mae. Her birth name was Pearly Mae but her parents anticipated she would be a boy and when a girl was born she was nicknamed "Dickie". Her brother was entertainer Bill Bailey (1912-1978). She spent her early life in Washington DC where ...
Soundtrack | Misery
Most remembered for his extravagant costumes and trademark candelabra placed on the lids of his flashy pianos, Liberace was loved by his audiences for his music talent and unique showmanship. He was born as Wladziu Valentino Liberace on May 16, 1919, into a musical family, in Wisconsin. His mother, ...
27. James Coco
Actor | Murder by Death
Born in New York City of humble means, character player James Coco was the son of Feliche, an Italian shoemaker, and Ida (Detestes) Coco. Shining shoes as a youngster with his father, his interest in acting occurred early on as a child. At age 17 he toured with a children's theatre troupe for three...
28. Danny Kaye
Soundtrack | The Danny Kaye Show
Danny Kaye left school at the age of 13 to work in the so-called Borscht Belt of Jewish resorts in the Catskill Mountains. It was there he learned the basics of show biz. From there he went through a series of jobs in and out of the business. In 1939, he made his Broadway debut in "Straw Hat Revue,...
29. Spike Milligan
Actor | The Bed Sitting Room
Spike was born an 'Army Brat', the son of an Irish Captain in the British Raj in India. Educated in a series of Roman Catholic schools in India and at Lewisham Polytechnic in England, he spent his formative years playing the fool and playing the trumpet in local jazz bands.
He joined the British ...
30. Roger Miller
Soundtrack | Robin Hood
Roger Miller was born on January 2, 1936 in Fort Worth, Texas, USA as Roger Dean Miller. He was married to Mary Miller, Leah Kendrick and Barbara Louise Crow. He died on October 25, 1992 in Los Angeles, California, USA.
31. Roy Rogers
Soundtrack | Men in Black 3
Roy Rogers (born Leonard Slye) moved to California in 1930, aged 18. He played in such musical groups as The Hollywood Hillbillies, Rocky Mountaineers, Texas Outlaws, and his own group, the International Cowboys. In 1934 he formed a group with Bob Nolan called Sons of the Pioneers. While in that ...
32. Dale Evans
Soundtrack | The Roy Rogers Show
American leading lady of musical westerns of the 1940s. Born Frances Octavia Smith in Uvalde, Texas. She was raised in Texas and Arkansas. Married at 14 and a mother at 15, she was divorced at 17 (some sources say widowed). Intent on a singing career, she moved to Memphis, Tennessee, and worked in ...
33. Lynn Redgrave
Actress | Gods and Monsters
Actress of both the English and American stage and screen, Lynn Redgrave was born in Marylebone, London, England, into one of the world's most famous acting dynasties. As the daughter of Rachel Kempson and Sir Michael Redgrave, sister of Vanessa Redgrave and Corin Redgrave, and granddaughter of Roy...
34. John Denver
Soundtrack | Armageddon
His birth occurred on Friday, December 31st, 1943, as the son of an Air Force officer, Denver was constantly moved from state to state and country to country. It was in Tucson, Arizona, that his grandmother gave him his first acoustic guitar, a gift that would prove an icebreaker when meeting other...
Actress | Spaceballs
Lorene Yarnell Jansson was born on March 21, 1944 in Inglewood, California, USA as Lorene Louise Yarnell. She was an actress, known for Spaceballs (1987), Bye Bye Birdie (1963) and The Wild Wild West Revisited (1979). She was married to Bjorn Jansson, Robert Shields and John R. Hartmann. She died ...
36. Victor Borge
Actor | Higher and Higher
Pianist, composer, songwriter, entertainer and actor, educated at Borgerdydskolen and the Conservatory of Copenhagen. He studied with Egon Petri and Frederic Lammond. His concert career began in 1922, and he performed in a musical revue in 1934, and in films by 1937. Arriving in the US in 1940, he ...
37. Dudley Moore
Actor | Arthur
Dudley Moore, the gifted comedian who had at least three distinct career phases that brought him great acclaim and success, actually started out as a musical prodigy as a child. He was born in Dagenham, Essex, England, in 1935, to working class parents, Ada Francis (Hughes), an English secretary, ...
38. Beverly Sills
Actress | Live From Lincoln Center
This vibrant, fine-humored coloratura was able to accomplish what most others of her ilk could or would not do -- she humanized opera and made it approachable to the masses. There were no diva-like traits in this star and the public absolutely adored her for it. Dubbed "America's Queen of Opera" in...
39. Dizzy Gillespie
Soundtrack | The Talented Mr. Ripley
John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie, along with Charlie Parker, ushered in the era of Be-Bop in the American jazz tradition. He was born in Cheraw, South Carolina, and was the youngest of nine children. He began playing piano at the age of four and received a music scholarship to the Laurinburg Institute ...
Actor | Superman
Christopher D'Olier Reeve was born September 25, 1952, in New York City, to journalist Barbara Johnson (née Barbara Pitney Lamb) and writer/professor F.D. Reeve (Franklin D'Olier Reeve). He came from an upper-class family; his paternal grandfather was CEO of Prudential Financial, and one of his ...
41. Doug Henning
Actor | The Magic Show
Doug Henning was born on May 3, 1947 in Fort Garry, Manitoba, Canada as Douglas James Henning. He was a writer, known for The Magic Show (1983), World of Magic (1977) and Doug Henning's World of Magic (1976). He was married to Debby Douillard and Barbara De Angelis. He died on February 7, 2000 in ...
42. Gene Kelly
Soundtrack | Singin' in the Rain
Eugene Curran Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the third son of Harriet Catherine (Curran) and James Patrick Joseph Kelly, a phonograph salesman. His father was of Irish descent and his mother was of Irish and German ancestry.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was the largest and most powerful studio in...
43. James Coburn
Actor | The Great Escape
Lanky, charismatic and versatile actor with an amazing grin that put everyone at ease, James Coburn studied acting at UCLA, and then moved to New York to study under noted acting coach Stella Adler. After being noticed in several stage productions, Coburn appeared in a handful of minor westerns ...
44. Señor Wences
The Spanish born ventriloquist Senor Wences was one of the highest paid vaudeville acts in the world. Hugely popular with American TV audiences Wences was also a top nightclub favorite.
Born Wenceslao Moreno in Peñaranda de Bracamonte, Salamanca (Spain), Wences began performing ventriloquism as a ...
Soundtrack | Stuey
Jean-Pierre Rampal was born on January 22, 1922 in Marseille, France. He died on May 20, 2000 in Paris, France.
46. Tony Randall
Actor | The Odd Couple
Tony Randall was born on February 26, 1920 in Tulsa, Oklahoma as Aryeh Leonard Rosenberg. He attended Tulsa Central High School and later Northwestern University and New York City's Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. After graduating, he starred in two plays: George Bernard Shaw's '...
47. Marty Feldman
Actor | Young Frankenstein
"I am too old to die young, and too young to grow up," Marty Feldman told a reporter -- a week before he died.
This beloved comedian, who poked fun at himself, as well as others, was born Martin Alan Feldman on July 8, 1934, in London, England. His parents were of Ukrainian Jewish heritage (from ...
48. Johnny Cash
Soundtrack | The Johnny Cash Show
Johnny Cash was born February 26, 1932, in Kingsland, Arkansas, to Carrie Cash (Rivers) and Raymond Cash. He made his first single, "Hey Porter", for Sun Records in 1955. In 1958 he moved to Columbia Records. He had long periods of drug abuse during the 1960s, but later that decade he successfully ...
49. Buddy Rich
Soundtrack | Whiplash
Buddy Rich was born on September 30, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as Bernard Rich. He was married to Marie Allison. He died on April 2, 1987 in Santa Monica, California, USA.
50. Andy Williams
Soundtrack | Lord of War
The extraordinary, easy-listening crooning talents of Andy Williams were first unveiled when he was 8 years old and inducted into the Williams Brothers Quartet as its youngest member. Born in Wall Lake, Iowa on December 3, 1927, Andy started singing with his three older brothers (Bob Williams, Dick...
51. Jean Stapleton
Actress | All in the Family
Jean Stapleton was born Jeanne Murray in Manhattan, New York City, to Marie A. (Stapleton), an opera singer, and Joseph Edward Murray, a billboard advertising salesman. Her paternal grandparents were Irish. She was a cousin of actress Betty Jane Watson. Other relatives in show business were her ...
52. Roger Moore
Actor | Moonraker
Roger Moore will perhaps always be remembered as the man who replaced Sean Connery in the James Bond series, arguably something he never lived down.
Roger George Moore was born on October 14, 1927 in Stockwell, London, England, the son of Lillian (Pope) and George Alfred Moore, a policeman. His ...
53. Bruce Forsyth
Actor | Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Veteran entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth had a career spanning eight decades, in which he went from struggling variety performer to Saturday night TV stardom. On the way, he became one of the most recognisable entertainers in the business, driven by what appeared to be inexhaustible energy. He became ...