Rich Little

Active - 1970 - 2015  |   Born - Nov 26, 1938   |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Tracie Cooper

Despite being an avid pre-'60s movie buff, Canadian born comedian/actor/singer (both in film and on-stage) Rich Little is known best for his vast repertoire of uncanny celebrity impressions. Little began his career at an early age; at 12 years old, he had taken to answering his teachers in their own voices. After spending time working as a disc jockey, Little was hired to impersonate Elvis Presley for an afternoon television program as part of an April Fool's joke, and successfully convinced hundreds of Elvis fans that their idol was at a local TV station. In 1963, Little was discovered in the United States by Mel Tormé, who asked him to audition for CBS's Judy Garland Show -- allegedly, Garland was immediately impressed and personally requested Little's presence on the show. Before long, Little starred in many a variety show and worked with the likes of Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, Mike Douglas, and Dean Martin. Little would go on to host a Christmas special in 1978, contribute his voice to various animated series, and even star in John DeBello's 1987 spy comedy Happy Hour, which follows Little and Jamie Farr's plight to put an end to the corporate machinations of two rival beer companies. In 1988, Little took the reins for Rich Little: One's a Crowd, a one-man show which featured some of his best celebrity impressions, and offered tips on how to cheat at golf in Rich Little: Little Scams on Golf (1991). After lending his vocal chords to 1992's Bebe's Kids, Little played Johnny Carson in The Late Shift (1996), a made-for-cable docudrama chronicling the battle between Jay Leno and David Letterman, who both hoped to take over Johnny Carson's role as the king of late night television. In 2002, Little impressively portrayed every president of the United States between 1960 and 2002 -- not to mention Billy Carter, James Carville, Robert Kennedy, Jimmy Stewart, Henry Kissinger, and Walter Cronkite -- for Richard Little Staring in the Presidents (2002). Though the impressionist complains that today's "vanilla" entertainment icons don't have distinct enough voices, he continues to make jaws drop impersonating on the Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and New York show circuit.

Movie Highlights

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