Marty Allen

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Marty Allen
Marty Allen (comedian).jpg
Allen in 1960
Birth name Morton David Alpern
Born (1922-03-23)March 23, 1922
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died February 12, 2018(2018-02-12) (aged 95)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Medium Stand-up, television and film acting
Nationality American
Years active 1950–2018
Spouse Lorraine Trydelle (m. 1960; d. 1976),
Karon Blackwell (m. 1984)
Website Official website

Morton David Alpern (March 23, 1922 – February 12, 2018), better known as Marty Allen, was an American comedian, actor, and philanthropist. He worked as a comedy headliner in nightclubs, as a dramatic actor in television roles, and was once called "The Darling of Daytime TV". He also appeared in films, notably the 1966 spy comedy The Last of the Secret Agents? During his comedy career, Allen also toured military hospitals, performed for veterans, and for active military personnel.

Allen was also a philanthropist. He contributed to the American Cancer Society, The Heart Fund, the March of Dimes, Fight for Sight, and served on the board of the Epilepsy Foundation.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Allen was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Jewish parents; Louis Alpern (1898–1977; from Romania/Russia), a restaurant and bar owner[3] and his wife, the former Elsie Moss (1901–1979).[4][5][6] He graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School in 1940. He was inducted into their alumni Hall Of Fame in 2009.[7]

Allen joined the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He was stationed in Italy where he attained the rank of sergeant. He earned a Soldier's Medal for stopping a fire in a plane that was being refueled. He saved the lives of the men boarding the burning plane by driving the fuel truck away, returning on foot to the plane, and then putting out the fire by rolling over the flames with his body in uniform. His heroism earned him a full-dress parade.[8]

He was married to the former Lorraine "Frenchy" Trydelle, who was the reservation and office manager of the Concord Resort Hotel in the Catskills,[9] from 1960 until her death in 1976.[10]

Career[edit]

During the early to the mid-1950s, Allen and his first comedy partner, Mitch DeWood, worked as an opening act for stars including Sarah Vaughan, Eydie Gormé, and Nat King Cole.[1] Allen and DeWood also worked many clubs, including the Copacabana until they broke up in 1958 and went their separate ways.[11]

He then became part of the comedy team of Allen & Rossi with Steve Rossi, which resulted in a string of hit comedy albums, 44 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show (including the famous appearance by The Beatles on 16 February 1964,[3] during which Allen won over the Beatles fans in the audience by announcing "I'm Ringo's mother!"),[12] and the film The Last of the Secret Agents? (1966).[13] They worked together from 1957 to 1968, parted ways amicably, and reunited for shows from the 1970s through the 1990s.[14]

In 1961 and 1962, Allen appeared on Broadway in Let It Ride! at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre and then went on to perform in the pre-Broadway tour and Broadway performances of I Had a Ball in 1964.[2]

He eventually began performing dramatic roles. His debut as a serious actor came on The Big Valley television series as the hapless Waldo Diefendorfer.[15] Throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s, he made hundreds of television appearances, becoming a regular on The Hollywood Squares.[14] He appeared on Circus of the Stars, in a cameo on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, on game shows such as Password, and in ten made-for-television movies.[13][2] He also appeared in theatrical films such as The Great Waltz (1972), Harrad Summer (1974) and A Whale of a Tale (1976).[2][13][14]

From the 1980s he and his wife, singer-songwriter Karon Kate Blackwell, teamed up to perform their musical comedy act to audiences around the country.[13] In 2007, the duo began performing at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and went on to perform at the Southpoint Casino, at Palace Station, and on cruise ships.[16] In 2015, the couple continued to perform in venues around the country to overflow crowds, at the Rampart Casino[17] and the Downtown Grand in Las Vegas.[18] In 2016, they performed at the Metropolitan Room in New York City.[19]

Charitable work[edit]

In 1968, he made a "Hello Dere" tour of military hospitals in the United States (a tour named after a catchphrase he popularized).[2] He repeated the tour annually until 1972.[14] During the tours, he talked with and entertained wounded soldiers who had just returned from Vietnam.[1] He was also involved in a number of charitable causes including the American Cancer Society, The Heart Fund, March of Dimes, Fight for Sight, Cerebral Palsy, and was on the board of the Epilepsy Foundation.[1][2]

Death[edit]

Allen died at the age of 95 on February 12, 2018, of complications from pneumonia at his home in Las Vegas.[20] His wife and performing partner Karon Kate Blackwell was by his side.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Comedian Marty Allen Dies at 95". Fox. February 2018. Archived from the original on February 13, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Marty Allen, Wild-Eyed Comedian, Dies at 95". The New York Times. February 13, 2018. Archived from the original on February 13, 2018. Retrieved February 13, 2018. 
  3. ^ a b Schudel, Matt (13 February 2018). "Marty Allen, fuzzy-haired member of popular 1960s comedy duo Allen & Rossi, dies at 95". The Washington Post. 
  4. ^ "Elsie Alpern". geni_family_tree. 
  5. ^ "Louis Alpern (1898-1977) - Find A Grave Memorial". www.findagrave.com. 
  6. ^ "Elsie Alpern (1901-1979) - Find A Grave Memorial". www.findagrave.com. 
  7. ^ Hecht, Steve (August 27, 2009). "Comedian Marty Allen part of Allderdice's first hall class". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on August 30, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  8. ^ ""Both Sides of Marty Allen" The Jewish Reporter, May 22, 2009" (PDF). www.JewishLasVegas.com. May 2009. p. 30. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2009. 
  9. ^ "It Happened in the Catskills". SUNY Press – via Google Books. 
  10. ^ "The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 20, 1963 · Page 112". 
  11. ^ "Marty Allen, Comedian and Game Show Regular, Dies at 95". msn.com. Archived from the original on February 13, 2018. Retrieved February 13, 2018. 
  12. ^ Nachman, Gerald (2010). "Inside the Star-Making Machine". Right Here On Our Stage Tonight: Ed Sullivan's America. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 226. ISBN 978-0520268012. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Comedian Marty Allen Dies in Las Vegas at 95". The Washington Post. February 13, 2018. Archived from the original on February 13, 2018. Retrieved February 13, 2018. 
  14. ^ a b c d e "Comedian Marty Allen dies in Las Vegas at 95". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. February 12, 2018. Archived from the original on February 13, 2018. 
  15. ^ "Allmovie Database". allmovie.com. Archived from the original on September 17, 2009. Retrieved December 1, 2010. 
  16. ^ An Interview with Marty Allen Archived July 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., classicshowbiz.blogspot.com (May 2011).
  17. ^ "Legendary Comedian Marty Allen Performs at Rampart Casino, April 17 –". Vegas24seven.com. Retrieved March 24, 2017. 
  18. ^ Stapleton, Susan (March 5, 2015). "Comedian Marty Allen celebrates his 93rd birthday with two Vegas shows". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 14, 2016. 
  19. ^ Interview with Marty Allen, thespectrum.com, March 2016.
  20. ^ "Marty Allen, Zany Comedian With a Crazy Hairdo, Dies at 95". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-02-16. 

External links[edit]