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Ben Blue
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    (September 12, 1901-March 7, 1975)
    Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Birth name was Benjamin Bernstein
    Regular on the TV series, 'Accidental Family' (1967-1968)
    Host of the short-lived TV variety series, 'The Ben Blue Show' (1950)
    Semi-Regular on 'The Frank Sinatra Show' (1950-1951) and 'The Ed Sullivan Show' (1956-1963)
    Acted in 'Paris Honeymoon,' 'Ziegfeld Follies,' 'Cocoanut Grove,' 'College Swing,' 'The Big Broadcast of 1938,' 'For Me and My Gal,' 'Thousands Cheer,' 'Broadway Rhythm,' 'Two Girls and a Sailor,' 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,' 'The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming' 'Busy Body,' and 'Where Were You When the Lights Went Out'
    He claimed to have been 'born laughing.'
    He was charged with tax evasion in 1963.
    He has been called a poor man's Buster Keaton.
    He was replaced in his first on-screen comedy gig with Hal Roach's 'Taxi Boys.'
    He had a failed pilot called 'Ben Blue's Brothers' (evidently not on a mission from God).
    Charlie Chaplin went on record saying that he hated Blue 'more than any other man.'
    Ironically, he began his career at 9, when he won a Charlie Chaplin impersonator contest.
    His Chaplin impersonation was so wildly successful that Chaplin repeatedly sued to make him stop (he won each time, but Blue continued doing it).
    His success with Judy Garland in 'For Me and My Gal,' led the two to try to sell Louis B. Mayer on a comedy routine between the two (it was vetoed unceremoniously).
    He was good friends with W.C. Fields and Red Skelton.
    He played four different characters in his unsuccessful TV pilot.
    He has been compared to Harry Langdon and Stan Laurel.
    He owned a series of successful Hollywood nightclubs.
    His successful mime routine started when he performed with a case of laryngitis.
    When his movie career waned in the 1950s, he found further success on television and as an entertainment manager/agent.
    Charlie Chaplin admitted to not only going to his shows out of jealousy, but also to stealing some of Blue's material for his own acts.
    He was credited with being one of the first comedians to make Judy Garland laugh during her long period of depression.
    Frank Sinatra said of him 'he is the only man I know who can do the exact same act in dialogue or in mime and still be excruciatingly funny.'
    Lou Costello was so afraid of being upstaged by him that he had a clause placed in his contract stating that Ben Blue would never appear in an Abbott& Costello picture.
    He derived a great deal of enjoyment from the publicity the Chaplin lawsuits provided, at one point cracking the judge up by showing up dressed as Chaplin. Further lawsuits were barred because the judge 'couldn't tell who was suing who.'
    When his obituary was accidentally printed in 1958, a large space in The Daily News was bought out by such notables as Jimmy Durante, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, and June Allyson, announcing the arrival of a new comic who would take Blue's place.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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