Louis Nye

Active - 1951 - 1987  |   Born - May 1, 1913   |   Died - Oct 9, 2005   |   Genres - Comedy

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Louis (pronounced Louie) Nye was an American comic actor equally at home in theatre, movies or television. His basic characterization as a somewhat fey country-club bon vivant was established when he was a regular on the various '50s TV programs starring Steve Allen. Nye's chipper "Hi, ho, Steverino" became a national catchphrase, and his ability to reduce Allen to helpless giggles with in-joke adlibs remains among the treasured memories of TV's golden age. At the height of his popularity, Nye recorded a few comedy LPs, in which he essayed a variety of characterizations (he was just as persuasive at playing tough hoodlums and peppery senior citizens as he was portraying effeminate swingers). Movies seldom utilized Nye for more than a few minutes at a time, reasoning perhaps that a little of him went a long way; still, he had some prime vignettes in The Facts of Life (1960), The Last Time I Saw Archie (1961), and especially Good Neighbor Sam (1963), in which he played a gadget-laden private eye. Outside of his extensive work with Steve Allen, Nye had regular TV stints on The Ann Sothern Show (1958-61) as dentist Delbert Gray; on Happy Days (1970), not the famous Fonzie-ized sitcom but a summer variety series spoofing the '30s; and on Needles and Pins (1973), as the intrusive brother-in-law of series star Norman Fell. In 1985, Louis Nye popped up as The Carpenter (as in "The Walrus and...") in the all-star TV movie adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.

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