Saturday, July 12, 2014

July 12: Happy Birthday, Milton Berle

“Uncle Miltie” was born July 12, 1908. Milton Berle was to become known as America’s first major television star; although his start-up was in radio. In his early years, Milton Berlinger took the name Berle and once he became famous, his mother changed her last name as well to Berle. His beginnings was as a child actor in a number of silent films. By age 12 he would move into stage productions and eventually vaudeville. His radio stint came in 1934 when he guest starred on the Rudy Vallee Program, and on the The Gillette Original Community Sing, Berle became a regular.

He did a piece on Three Time Ring, a comedy-variety show. in 1944-45 Berle performed on Let Yourself Go which had active audience participation. In 1948 he began his hosting of Texas Star Theatre which eventually came to be known as the Milton Berle Show in 1953.

This program would lend appearances to big names like Jack Albertson and Ed Begley, and Arnold Stang would later become Berle’s sidekick. Milton Berle was so fanatical about the success of his program that he gave up other gigs to keep his program going. The program continued until 1956 with Milton Berle onboard. Milton Berle left this world in 2002 after a bout with cancer.

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