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Jack Carter

Performer
( b. Jun 24, 1922 Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York, USA - d. Jun 28, 2015 Beverly Hills, California, USA ) Male
Carter was a comedian who became one of television's first stars in the late 1940s and continued working, as both a comic and an actor, well into the 21st century.

With a rapid-fire delivery, a barrage of one-liners and impressions, a dancer's light-footedness and a more than passable singing voice, Mr. Carter was a headliner, if never quite a superstar, for decades. His jokes were not subtle or even necessarily original. ("The nurse says, 'There's a man in the waiting room; says he's invisible.' Doctor says, 'Tell him I can't see him.') But he sold them with gusto, and they generated enough laughter to carry him, early in his career, to big-time rooms like the Copacabana in New York and the Desert Inn in Las Vegas.

He was born in Brooklyn, one of three children of Harry Chakrin and the former Anna Borofsky, Jewish immigrants from Russia. His father owned a candy store and a restaurant on Coney Island, and by age 3 Jack was dancing on the tables there. As a teenager, he observed veteran vaudeville comedians in action as he poked into night spots along the boardwalk. But he aspired to become a serious actor, and his portrayal of Cyrano de Bergerac at New Utrecht High School led to a summer stock role in Christopher Morley's play "The Trojan Horse" at the Millpond Playhouse in Roslyn, N.Y., on Long Island.

The infant medium of television soon beckoned. In 1949 Mr. Carter was the host of the ABC show "American Minstrels�?� and then of "Cavalcade of Stars" on the short-lived Dumont network. He had his own variety show on NBC, part of a Saturday-night package with Sid Caesar's "Your Show of Shows."

He appeared on Broadway in 1952, replacing Phil Silvers as the lead in Top Banana,," the Johnny Mercer musical about a beleaguered television comedian. Additionally, he'd appear on Broadway, in the original cast of the 1956 musical comedy Mr. Wonderful, which starred Sammy Davis Jr.
Mr. Carter was appearing on television into his 90s, with roles on "Desperate Housewives," "Parks and Recreation," "New Girl" and other shows, most recently "Shameless."

Until late in life he was also still working the condo circuit in South Florida, as he had been since the 1980s, tailoring his jokes to an audience of his contemporaries.

Source: New York Times obituary 


ProductionsDate of Productions
Mr. Wonderful
[Musical, Comedy, Original]
  • Starring: Jack Carter [Fred Campbell]
Mar 22, 1956 - Feb 23, 1957
Top Banana
[Musical, Comedy, Original]
  • Performer: Jack Carter
    • Jerry Biffle - Replacement (circa. 1952 - ?)
Nov 01, 1951 - Oct 04, 1952
Call Me Mister
[Musical, Revue, Original]
  • Performer: Jack Carter
    • - Replacement
Apr 18, 1946 - Jan 10, 1948
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