Burl Ives

Active - 1946 - 1988  |   Born - Jun 14, 1909 in Hunt City, Illinois, United States  |   Died - Apr 14, 1995   |   Genres - Drama, Children's/Family, Western

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Biography by AllMovie

After attending Charleston (Illinois) Teachers College and New York University, bearded, burly Burl Ives played pro football, then traversed the country as an itinerant handyman. His gifts as a guitarist and balladeer enabled Ives to secure radio work in the 1940s: one of his earliest series was titled, appropriately enough, The Wayfaring Stranger. A natural-born actor, Ives made his screen debut in 1946's Smoky. Throughout the rest of his career, there were two Burl Ives. The twinkly-eyed, grandfatherly Ives was the fellow who provided comedy relief in such films as Summer Magic (1963) and The Brass Bottle (1964), who starred in the easygoing culture-clash TV sitcom OK Crackerby (1965) who played the gruff-but-avuncular senior attorney on the weekly series The Bold Ones: The Lawyers (1969), and who recorded such song hits as "Itty Bitty Tear," "My Funny Way of Laughing" and that inescapable Holiday perennial, "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas." Then there was the "other" Burl Ives: the shark-eyed, intimidating, domineering patriarch who portrayed Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Ephraim Cabot in Desire Under the Elms (1959) and who won an Academy Award for his chilling portrayal of a mean-for-the-hell-of-it land baron in The Big Country (1958).

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