Gil Lamb

Active - 1942 - 1980  |   Born - Jun 14, 1906   |   Genres - Comedy, Musical

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Biography by Hal Erickson

While the phrase "rubber-limbed" may be overused in describing pencil-thin entertainer Gil Lamb, it's the only adjective that truly fits. Lamb gained fame in vaudeville and on Broadway in the 1930s as an eccentric dancer; he was also blessed with an astonishingly mobile face, which lent utter credibility to his most famous routine, wherein he pretended to swallow a harmonica. From 1942 through 1945, Lamb flourished as a contract player at Paramount Pictures, appearing as a supporting actor and specialty performer in such musicals as The Fleet's In (1942) and Rainbow Island (1946). In Monogram's Joe Palooka "B" series, Lamb was cast as Joe's sparring partner Humphrey Pennyworth, an incongruous piece of casting when one considers that comic-strip artist Ham Fisher originally conceived Humphrey as a bulging blimp of a man. From 1949 through 1952, Lamb starred in a series of slickly produced 2-reel comedies at RKO Radio. He then returned to the stage, making sporadic unbilled movie cameo appearances into the 1960s (a partygoer in Breakfast at Tiffany's a drunk in Good Neighbor Sam etc.), most often in the Disney Studios output. On television, Gil Lamb hosted the DuMont Network's 1949 variety series Window to the World, was a semi-regular on the 1967 sitcom Pistols and Petticoats, and was spotlighted in dozens of commercials.

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