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Subject: ARCHIVE: March 27, 2002 ~Another to die the same say was Milton Berle, whose career as an entertainer spanned over 80 years, popular as the host of NBC's Texaco Star Theatre (1948–1955), arguably the first major TV star, and was known to millions of viewers as "Uncle Miltie" and "Mr. Television" during the first Golden Age of Television, dies at 93. ...

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Date Posted: Saturday, March 27, 02:45:57pm
In reply to: Bio & PHOTO 's message, "ARCHIVE: March 27, 2002 ~BILLY WILDER, famed veteran Oscar-winning Austrian-born Hollywood film director, screenwriter, and producer whose career in Hollywood spanned over five decades, of films like "Double Indemnity", "Sunset Blvd", "Some Like it Hot", and "The Apartment", and regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood's Golden Age, dies at 95. ..." on Saturday, March 27, 02:30:03pm

Milton Berle
[ Mendel Berlinger ]
(July 12, 1908 – March 27, 2002)

American comedian and actor, Berle's career as an entertainer spanned over 80 years, first in silent films and on stage as a child actor, then in radio, movies and television. As the host of NBC's Texaco Star Theatre (1948–1955), he was the first major American television star and was known to millions of viewers as "Uncle Miltie" and "Mr. Television" during the first Golden Age of Television. He was honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in both radio and TV.

Early life ...
Milton Berle was born into a Jewish family in a five-story walkup at 68 W. 118th Street in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan. His given name was Mendel Berlinger. He chose Milton Berle as his professional name when he was 16. His father, Moses Berlinger (1873–1938), was a paint and varnish salesman. His mother, Sarah (Sadie) Glantz Berlinger (1877–1954), changed her name to Sandra Berle when Milton became famous. He had three older brothers (from oldest to youngest): Phil, Frank and Jack Berle. For many years, the latter two worked as Berle's TV production staff members, while Phil Berle was a program executive at NBC.

Child actor ...
Berle entered show business in 1913 at the age of five when he won a children's Charlie Chaplin contest. He also worked as a child model and was the first "Buster Brown" for "Buster Brown" shows. He appeared as a child actor in silent films. He claimed The Perils of Pauline as his first film appearance, playing the character of a young boy, though this has never been independently verified. In Milton Berle: An Autobiography, he explained that the director told him that he would portray a little boy who would be thrown from a moving train. He said, "I was scared shitless, even when he went on to tell me that Pauline would save my life. Which is exactly what happened, except that at the crucial moment they threw a bundle of rags instead of me from the train. I bet there are a lot of comedians around today who are sorry about that."

By Berle's account, he continued to play child roles in other films: Bunny's Little Brother, Tess of the Storm Country, Birthright, Love's Penalty, Divorce Coupons and Ruth of the Range. Berle recalled, "There were even trips out to Hollywood—the studios paid—where I got parts in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, with Mary Pickford; The Mark of Zorro, with Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., and Tillie's Punctured Romance, with Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand and Marie Dressler." However, Berle's claim to have appeared in Tillie's Punctured Romance has been disputed by film historians, among them Glenn Mitchell, who in his book, The Chaplin Encyclopedia, writes that Berle's alleged role was most likely played by child actor Gordon Griffith. In 1916, Berle enrolled in the Professional Children's School.

Death ...
In April 2001 Berle announced that a malignant tumor had been found in his colon, but he had declined surgery. Berle's wife said the tumor was growing so slowly that it would take 10 to 12 years to affect him in any significant or life-threatening way. One year after the announcement, on March 27, 2002, Berle died in Los Angeles from colon cancer. He died on the same day as Dudley Moore and Billy Wilder.

In addition to his third wife, Lorna Adams, Berle was survived by his adopted daughter Victoria, his biological son Bob Williams, and his adopted son Bill. Berle reportedly left arrangements to be buried with his second wife, Ruth, at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Burbank, but his body was cremated and interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City. (Warren Cowan, Berle's publicist, told The New York Times, "I only know he told me he bought plots at Hillside, and it was his idea.") ...

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ARCHIVE: March 27, 2002 ~Another to die the same day in that celeb trifecta was Dudley Moore, UK-born comic actor, musician/composer, whose early partnership w/Peter Cooke, later proved worthy of a film career of notable screen efforts "Foul Play", "10", and his most popular "Arthur" which earned him a Golden Globe win and Oscar nod, sadly dies of a terminally degenerative brain disorder progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), at age 66. ...Bio & PHOTOSaturday, March 27, 02:55:36pm

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