Jack Gilford was an American actor.

Biography

Born Jacob Aaron Gellman in New York, he began his showbusiness career on stage as a comedian and impressionist, before becoming a nightclub master of ceremonies.

Though mostly recognised for his stage appearances, particular in comedy (his role as King Sextimus in Once Upon a Mattress was almost entirely pantomimed) Gilford was also a versatile character actor on television, appearing in series such as Taxi and The Golden Girls. He also made occasional film appearances and received an Academy Award nomination for his part in Save the Tiger.

Gilford passed away in 1990, aged 82.

Singing

Gilford often made singing appearances, beginning his career in revues such as Meet the People and Alive and Kicking. In 1962, he originated the role of Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (a role which he reprised for the film adaptation). He also made several appearances on The Dean Martin Show and performed "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid" with Martin, Orson Welles and Pat Crowley.

In 1966 Gilford originated another notable role, playing the poignant part of Herr Schultz in Cabaret. His final musical would come in 1971, in the revival of No, No, Nanette as Jimmy Smith.

Films

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1969)

  • Everybody Ought to Have a Maid (contains solo lines)
  • Lovely (reprise)(duet)
  • Comedy Tonight (reprise)(contains solo lines)

Television

The Dean Martin Show (1965)

  • Everybody Ought to Have a Maid (contains solo lines)

Stage

Meet the People (1940)

Alive and Kicking (1950)

Once Upon a Mattress (1959)(originated the role)

  • Finale

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962)(originated the role)

  • Comedy Tonight
  • Everbody Ought to Have a Maid (contains solo lines)
  • I'm Calm (solo)
  • Comedy Tonight (reprise)(contains solo lines)

Cabaret (1966)(originated the role)

  • It Couldn't Please Me More (duet)
  • Married (duet)
  • Meeskite (solo)
  • Married (reprise)(solo)

No, No, Nanette (1971)

  • Only a Moment Ago (duet)
  • I Want to Be Happy (contains solo lines)
  • Finale

Gallery

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