Marty Allen (1960)
|Birth name||Morton David Alpern|
March 23, 1922 |
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Medium||Stand-up, television and film acting|
Marty Allen (born Morton David Alpern; March 23, 1922) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and veteran of World War II. He has worked as a comedy headliner in nightclubs and as a dramatic actor in TV roles.
He then joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was stationed in Italy where he attained the rank of sergeant and earned a Soldier's Medal for his bravery during a fire which happened while a plane was being refueled. His heroism also earned him a full-dress parade.
During the early to the mid-1950s, Allen and his first comedy partner, Mitch DeWood, worked as an opening act for such stars as Sarah Vaughan, Eydie Gorme, and Nat King Cole. Allen and DeWood also worked many clubs, including the Copacabana until they broke up[when?] and went their separate ways.
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 Beatles appearance in February 1964, during which Allen won over the Beatles fans in the audience by announcing "I'm Ringo's mother!"), and the film The Last of the Secret Agents? (1966). They worked together from 1957 to 1968, parted ways amicably, and reunited for shows from the 1970s through the 1990s.
He eventually began performing dramatic roles. His debut as a serious actor came on The Big Valley TV series as the hapless Waldo Diefendorfer. Throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s, he made hundreds of television appearances, becoming a regular on Hollywood Squares. 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. He also appeared in theatrical films such as The Great Waltz (1972), Harrad Summer (1974) and A Whale of a Tale (1976).
From the 1980s and to the present, he and his wife, singer-songwriter Karon Kate Blackwell, teamed up to perform their musical comedy act to audiences around the country. 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. In 2015, the couple continued to perform in venues around the country to overflow crowds, at the Rampart Casino  and the Downtown Grand in Las Vegas. In 2016 they performed at the Metropolitan Room in New York City.
In 1968 he made a "Hello Dere" tour of military hospitals in the United States (a tour named after a catch phrase he popularized). He repeated the tour annually until 1972. During the tours, he talked with and entertain wounded soldiers who had just returned from Vietnam. He is also involved in a number of charitable causes including the American Cancer Society, The Heart Fund, The March of Dimes, Fight for Sight, Cerebral Palsy, and is on the board of the Epilepsy Foundation.