Obit of the Day (Dead Together): Miton Berle and Dudley Moore (2002)
On March 27 , 2002 comedy lost two giants, American television pioneer Milton Berle and British comedian and actor Dudley Moore.
Berle, a vaudevillian, made the transition from stage to radio to television rather smoothly. When the Texaco Star Theaterdebuted in 1948 it would make him a legend. The show ran on Tuesdays nights until 1955. It was so popular that movie theaters so less tickets on those evenings, and restaurants were known for closing during the hour that “Uncle Miltie” was broadcast. On any one Tuesday, 80% of American televisions were tuned into Star Theater. He would have a long tv and film career to follow, although his last screen appearance was a cameo in Kenan and Kel: Two Heads are Better Than One. Milton Berle died at the age of 92.
Moore got his start on the BBC, becoming famous for his sketch comedy with fellow actor Peter Cook on Not Only…But Also. After the show went off the air, Mr. Moore headed to Hollywood and became known to American audiences for his role in comedies 10 (1979) and then his Academy Award-nominated appearance in the 1981 film Arthur. His stardom was short-lived and some of it was blamed on rumors of drinking problems. By 1999, Mr. Moore revealed that he was suffering from progressive supranuclear palsy, a brain disorder that often caused symptoms that made the sufferer appear drunk. He passed away on March 27, 2002 at the age of 66.
(Images from The Muppet Show, copyright of Jim Henson Productions. Mr. Berle hosted on November 12, 1977 and Mr. Moore on October 20, 1979. The images are courtesy of cmgww.com and henson.com)