27 Facts About Jack Benny

1. Jack Benny was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln by the Governor of Illinois in 1972 in the area of The Performing Arts.

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2. In 1960, Jack Benny was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with three stars.

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3. Jack Benny had commented, "If it isn't a $30,000 Strad, I'm out $120.

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4. Jack Benny went into a coma at home on December 22, 1974.

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5. In October 1974, Jack Benny cancelled a performance in Dallas after suffering a dizzy spell, coupled with numbness in his arms.

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6. Jack Benny was preparing to star in the film version of Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys when his health failed in 1974.

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7. Jack Benny made one of his final television appearances July 20, 1973 on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

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8. Many people believe that Jack Benny appears behind the wheel of his Maxwell in the 1963 film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, but in fact it was a 1932 Cadillac.

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9. Jack Benny teamed with Fred Allen for the best-remembered running gag in classic radio history, in terms of character dialogue.

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10. Jack Benny was able to attract guests who rarely, if ever, appeared on television.

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11. On the advice of MCA's Lew Wasserman, Jack Benny formed a holding company, "Amusement Enterprises", which allowed him to bundle his entire program and personnel into a single commodity.

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12. Jack Benny was profoundly shaken by Allen's sudden death from a heart attack in 1956.

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13. Jack Benny answered the prize-winning question correctly and Allen crowned him "king" and showered him with a passel of almost meaningless prizes.

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14. In 1937, Jack Benny began his famous radio feud with rival Fred Allen.

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15. In an episode broadcast March 28, 1948, Jack Benny borrowed neighbor Ronald Colman's Oscar, and was returning home when he was accosted by a mugger.

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16. Jack Benny would sometimes joke about the propriety of "Love in Bloom" as his theme song.

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17. Over the years, in the Christmas episodes, Jack Benny bought and repeatedly exchanged cuff links, golf tees, a box of dates, a paint set, and a gopher trap.

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18. Jack Benny would then drive Blanc to insanity by exchanging the gift countless times throughout the episode.

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19. Each year, Jack Benny would buy a ridiculously cheap Christmas gift for Don Wilson, from a harried store clerk played by Mel Blanc.

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20. Jack Benny wrote the character as transcending the racial stereotype of the era, and the popularity of Rochester nearly rivaled his own.

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21. Jack Benny said: "I don't care who gets the laughs on my show, as long as the show is funny.

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22. Jack Benny signed a five-year contract with MGM, where his first role was in The Hollywood Revue of 1929.

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23. In 1921, Jack Benny accompanied Zeppo Marx to a Passover seder in Vancouver at the residence where he met 14-year-old Sadie Marks.

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24. Jack Benny had some romantic encounters, including one with dancer Mary Kelly, whose devoutly Catholic family forced her to turn down his proposal because he was Jewish.

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25. Jack Benny left show business briefly in 1917 to join the United States Navy during World War I, and often entertained the troops with his violin playing.

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26. Jack Benny was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in nearby Waukegan, Illinois.

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27. Jack Benny was an American comedian, vaudevillian, radio, television and film actor, and violinist.

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