Jerry Bergen

Active - 1936 - 1955  |   Born - Jan 4, 1899   |   Genres - Musical, Comedy, Romance

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Biography by AllMovie

A diminutive actor (somewhere under five feet tall) with a vaudeville background, Jerry Bergen specialized in comedy roles on film, usually (though not always) involving the use of a violin. Bergen's earliest screen appearance was in the 1933 Charley Chase short Arabian Tights. The same year, he starred in the short film 20,000 Cheers for the Chain Gang, and appeared in the Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle short Tomalio. He had uncredited roles in the W.C. Fields vehicle Poppy and in Artists and Models (both 1937), and played the title role in the short The Little Maestro (1937), in which he put his violin to work with great effect. Bergen was Prof. Jasper Chinn in the Gracie Allen/Bob Hope vehicle College Swing (1938). In the 1942 East Side Kids movie Let's Get Tough!, he got a whole comic specialty vignette -- involving nearly ten percent of the film's running time -- to himself, in which his character tries to teach Huntz Hall to play the violin. That same year, he worked in Flying With Music, a musical comedy with a cast that included the '40s actor William Marshall and a young Jane Kean (of Walter Winchell and latter-day Honeymooners fame). His last two big-screen appearances were small roles in Vincente Minnelli's musical The Pirate (1948) (as Bolo), and as Henri Toulouse-Lautrec in Minnelli's Lust for Life (1956). In 1955-1956, he was a regular on the children's television show Supercircus, and he appeared on The Tonight Show With Jerry Lewis as guest host in June 1962.

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