32 Facts About Phil Silvers


Phil Silvers was born on Phillip Silver; May 11,1911 – November 1,1985 and was an American entertainer and comedic actor, known as "The King of Chutzpah".

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Silvers achieved major popularity when he starred in The Phil Silvers Show, a 1950s sitcom set on a US Army post in which he played Master Sergeant Ernest Bilko.

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Phil Silvers starred in the films It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

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Phil Silvers was a winner of two Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on The Phil Silvers Show and two Tony Awards for his performances in Top Banana and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

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Phil Silvers wrote the original lyrics to the jazz standard Nancy.

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Phil Silvers's siblings were Lillian, Harry, Jack, Saul, Pearl, Michael, and Reuben Silver.

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Phil Silvers began entertaining at the age of 11, when he would sing in theaters when the film projector broke, to the point where he was allowed to keep attending the same movie theater free of charge, to sing through any future breakdowns.

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Phil Silvers next worked in short films for the Vitaphone studio, such as Ups and Downs, and on Broadway, where he made his debut in the short-lived show Yokel Boy in 1939.

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Critics raved about Phil Silvers, who was hailed as the bright spot in the mediocre play.

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Phil Silvers made his feature film debut in Hit Parade of 1941 in 1940.

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Phil Silvers appeared in Lady Be Good, Coney Island, Cover Girl, with Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth, and in Summer Stock with Kelly and Judy Garland.

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Towards the end of the Second World War, Phil Silvers entertained the troops during several successful overseas USO tours with Sinatra.

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Phil Silvers never did stand-up, and, out of character, he was not known for cracking jokes.

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Phil Silvers was featured in Marilyn Monroe's last film, the unfinished Something's Got to Give.

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Producer Peter Rogers employed him to ensure the Carry On films' success in America, though Phil Silvers' presence did not ensure the film's success on either side of the Atlantic.

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Phil Silvers's salary was £30,000, the largest Carry On salary ever, only later met by the appearance of Elke Sommer in Carry On Behind.

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Phil Silvers has the speed, the drollery and the shell-game style of a honky-tonk buffoon.

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Phil Silvers played Jerry Biffle, the egocentric, always-busy star of a major television show.

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Phil Silvers repeated the role in the 1954 film version which was initially released in 3-D.

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Phil Silvers returned to Broadway in the musical Do Re Mi in December 1960, receiving a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.

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Phil Silvers declined, and the role went instead to Zero Mostel, who was so successful in the role that he repeated the role in the 1966 film version.

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The revival was a hit and Phil Silvers became the first leading actor ever to win a Tony Award in a revival of a musical.

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Phil Silvers appeared as curmudgeonly Hollywood producer Harold Hecuba in the classic 1966 episode "The Producer" on Gilligan's Island, where he and the castaways performed a musical version of Hamlet.

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Phil Silvers was married twice, to Jo-Carroll Dennison and to Evelyn Patrick.

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Phil Silvers had five daughters — Candace, Cathy, Laury, Nancey, and Tracey — all by his second wife, Evelyn Patrick.

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Phil Silvers suffered a nervous breakdown in 1962 while performing in Spain.

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On one occasion, at the tiny Cal-Neva Lodge in nearby Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Phil Silvers spent an entire night playing craps until he lost all his money and then went through $1,000 in credit.

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Phil Silvers suffered a stroke during the run of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in August 1972.

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Phil Silvers played the cab driver Hoppy in Neil Simon's send-up of hard-boiled detective films, The Cheap Detective, which starred Peter Falk.

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Phil Silvers was interred at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.

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In 2003, The Phil Silvers Show was voted Best Sitcom in the Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy.

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The premise of The Phil Silvers Show was the basis for the Hanna-Barbera animated series Top Cat, for which Arnold Stang moderately imitated Silvers' voice for the title character.

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