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Don Ameche

Biography

Acting professional/singer Don Ameche was created Dominic Felix Amici in Kenosha, WI, on, may 31, 1904. But Ameche’s profession in entertainment wasn’t pre-planned whatsoever; actually, it happened unintentionally while attending legislation school (after getting a job in an area production of Extra Baggage). The performing bug experienced officially bitten the youthful lawyer-to-be, who switched his back again on his prepared career and started doing radio displays (The Bickersons, The Run after, and Sandborne Hour). Immediately after, functions in movies began to arrive his method, as Ameche became effective at both musicals (Down Argentine Method, Moon Over Miami) and dramatic jobs (One in a Mil, Heaven Can Wait around). Ameche would afterwards take jobs on Television and Broadway before showing up in his last two strike films — the Dan Aykroyd/Eddie Murphy humor hit Trading Areas as well as the Ron Howard-directed Cocoon (the last mentioned which Ameche earned an Oscar for Greatest Supporting Professional), both in the middle-’80s. Ameche passed on from tumor in Scottsdale, AZ, on Dec 6, 1993, at age 89.

Quick Facts


Full Name Don Ameche
Died December 6, 1993, Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
Height 1.79 m
Profession Singer, Voice Actor, Radio personality, TV Personality
Education University of Wisconsin-Madison, Marquette University, Loras College
Nationality American
Spouse Honore Prendergast
Children Dominic Ameche, Connie Ameche, Lonnie Ameche, Thomas Ameche, Ronald Ameche, Bonnie Ameche
Parents Barbara Etta Amici, Felice Amici
Siblings Jim Ameche, Jane Ameche, Elizabeth Ameche, Ann Ameche, Louis Ameche, Catherine Ameche, Umberto Ameche
Awards Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Volpi Cup for Best Actor
Music Songs Silk Stockings, As On Through the Seasons We Sail, Paris Loves Lovers, No One'll Ever Love You, It's a Chemical Reaction, That's All / All of You, Alexander's Ragtime Band / When the Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves for Alabam' / The International Rag / Everybody's Doin' It, Meddley: Alexander's Ragtime Band, When the Midnight Choo-choo, Leaves for Alabam', the International Rag, Everybody's Doin'it, The Red Blues, Hail Bibinski, Goldilocks: I Can't Be In Love, Goldilocks: No One'll Ever Love You, There Never Was a Woman, Goldilocks: There Never Was A Woman, Now It Can Be Told, The Pussy Foot, Goldilocks: Overture, Afraid To Dream, Goldilocks: Give The Little Lady A Big Hand, Goldilocks: Save A Kiss, Goldilocks: I Never Know When, Goldilocks: Lazy Moon, Goldilocks: Where Is The Beast In You, Goldilocks: Who's Been Sitting In My Chair, Goldilocks: Shall I Take My Heart And Go, Goldilocks: Lady In Waiting, Goldilocks: Two Years In The Making, Goldilocks: Heart Of Stone, Goldilocks: Bad Companions, Goldilocks: The Pussy Foot, Easter Parade, Christmas Eve, Silk Stockings: Paris Loves Lovers
Albums Goldilocks, Hildegard Knef Meets Harald Juhnke
Movies Trading Places, Cocoon, Heaven Can Wait, Cocoon: The Return, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Down Argentine Way, The Story of Alexander Graham Bell, Things Change, In Old Chicago, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, Harry and the Hendersons, Coming to America, That Night in Rio, Corrina, Corrina, Sleep, My Love, Moon Over Miami, Confirm or Deny, Swanee River, So Goes My Love, Folks!, Ramona, Wing and a Prayer, Greenwich Village, The Feminine Touch, Guest Wife, Happy Land, Hollywood Cavalcade, Midnight, Slightly French, Lillian Russell, Sins of Man, You Can't Have Everything, The Boatniks, The Magnificent Dope, Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came, Love is News, Picture Mommy Dead, The Three Musketeers, Ladies in Love, Kiss the Boys Goodbye, A Fever in the Blood, Girl Trouble, Something to Shout About, Happy Landing, Josette, Love Under Fire, Fifty Roads to Town, It's in the Bag!, Clive of India, Oddball Hall, Four Sons
TV Shows Coke Time with Eddie Fisher, Holiday Hotel, Take a Chance


  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 Attended Hollywood for Dewey Rally on Oct. 18, 1944. Other attendees included: Randolph Scott, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Ginger Rogers, and Barbra Stanwyck.
2 Although he played Tod Andrews' father in Heaven Can Wait (1943), he was only six years his senior in real life.
3 He was considered for the role of Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972) before Marlon Brando was cast. He was later mentioned by name in The Godfather: Part III (1990) when Joey Zasa (Joe Mantegna said, "We got Don Ameche, who played the guy that invented the telephone," a reference to his role as Alexander Graham Bell in The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939).
4 Had not acted for 13 years when he was cast in Trading Places (1983). The role revitalized his career and he acted consistently until only a month before his passing.
5 He frequently apologized to his Trading Places (1983) co-star Eddie Murphy for the racist statements that his character made in the film.
6 Made only five films from 1949 to 1983.
7 He died only eight days before his So Goes My Love (1946) co-star Myrna Loy.
8 He worked with Tyrone Power in Ladies in Love (1936), In Old Chicago (1937), Love Is News (1937) and Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938) and with his son Tyrone Power Jr. in Cocoon (1985) and Cocoon: The Return (1988).
9 He was a Republican who attended the Hollywood for Dewey Rally in 1944. Also a member of the Catholic group, the Christophers.
10 When his children's names are all expressed as nicknames, they rhyme, Ronnie, Donnie, Tommie, Lonnie, Bonnie, and Connie.
11 Ameche's salary, which was $34,499 in 1936 and $51,833 in 1937, grew to $147,824 in 1940.
12 In The French Connection (1971), a mafia figure is followed to a NYC building in which "the actor, Don Ameche, lives".
13 He was awarded two Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Television at 6101 Hollywood Boulevard and for Radio at 6313 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
14 His father was an Italian immigrant. His mother had German, English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. Americans pronounced his last name incorrectly in Italian ("Ah-mee-see"). So he changed it from "Amici" (correctly pronounced "Ah-mee-chee") into "Ameche", in order to keep the original Italian pronunciation.
15 Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 3, 1991-1993, pages 11-13. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001.
16 Father of Don Ameche Jr..
17 Calling the telephone the "Don Ameche" became popular American Slang in the 1930s and '40s due to his role as Alexander Graham Bell
18 Attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa
19 Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald S. Smith, pg. 51-53 (article titled "The Bickersons"). New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
20 He became a major star on radio. His teaming with Frances Langford as "The Bickersons" is regarded as classic comedy on radio. "The Bickersons" were revived for a series or record albums.
21 Inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1992.
22 Portrayed Alexander Graham Bell in The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939) in 1939. In 1957, his brother, Jim Ameche, portrayed Bell in The Story of Mankind (1957).
23 Father of six children: Ronald, Dominic Jr., Thomas, Lonnie, Bonnie and Connie.
24 Interred at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery (formerly St. Philomina's), Dubuque, Iowa. (Grave unmarked).
25 Brother of actor Jim Ameche.


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Corrina, Corrina 1994 Grandpa Harry
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey 1993 Shadow (voice)
Sunstroke 1992 TV Movie Jake
Folks! 1992 Harry Aldrich
Pros and Cons 1991 TV Series
Our Shining Moment 1991 TV Movie John 'Papa' McGuire Sr.
Oscar 1991 Father Clemente
The Golden Girls 1990 TV Series Brother Martin
Oddball Hall 1990 G. Paul Siebriese
Cocoon: The Return 1988 Art Selwyn
Things Change 1988 Gino
Coming to America 1988 Mortimer Duke
Harry and the Hendersons 1987 Dr. Wallace Wrightwood
Pals 1987 TV Movie Art Riddle
A Masterpiece of Murder 1986 TV Movie Frank Aherne
Cocoon 1985 Art Selwyn
Not in Front of the Kids 1984 TV Movie Ben Rosen
The Love Boat 1979-1984 TV Series Stewart Coolidge / Hollis Witkin / Henry Dobson
Mr. Smith 1983 TV Series Dr. Breckenridge
Trading Places 1983 Mortimer Duke
Fantasy Island 1980 TV Series Ferini
The Chinese Typewriter 1979 TV Movie Armand Beller
Quincy M.E. 1979 TV Series Harry Whitehead
Good Heavens 1976 TV Series Clay
Ellery Queen 1975 TV Series Dr. Norman Marsh
McCloud 1975 TV Series Rene Jauvert
Gidget Gets Married 1972 TV Movie Otis Ramsey
Alias Smith and Jones 1971 TV Series Diamond Jim Guffy
Columbo 1971 TV Series Frank Simpson
Shepherd's Flock 1971 TV Movie Dr. Hewitt
Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came? 1970 Col. Flanders
The Boatniks 1970 Commander Taylor
Julia 1969-1970 TV Series Dr. Foster Prestwick
Petticoat Junction 1970 TV Series Uncle George
Shadow Over Elveron 1968 TV Movie Justin Pettit
Picture Mommy Dead 1966 Edward Shelley
The Christophers 1963-1964 TV Series
Burke's Law 1964 TV Series Whitman Saunders
The Greatest Show on Earth 1964 TV Series Collie McCullough
A Fever in the Blood 1961 Senator Alex S. Simon
Climax! 1958 TV Series Sam Waterman
The DuPont Show of the Month 1957 TV Series Harry Graves
Goodyear Playhouse 1957 TV Series Burnham Wicks
Saturday Spectacular: High Button Shoes 1956 TV Movie Henry Longstreet (uncredited)
Fire One 1954 TV Movie Commander Cannon
Phantom Caravan 1954 Lawrence Evans
Family Theatre 1953 TV Series Leader of Rosary
The Frances Langford-Don Ameche Show 1951 TV Series Co-host (1951-52)
Don Ameche's Musical Playhouse 1950 TV Series Host (1950-1951)
The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre 1949 TV Series
Slightly French 1949 John Gayle
Sleep, My Love 1948 Richard W. Courtland
That's My Man 1947 Joe Grange
So Goes My Love 1946 Hiram Stephen Maxim
Guest Wife 1945 Joseph Jefferson 'Joe' Parker
It's in the Bag! 1945 Don Ameche
Greenwich Village 1944 Kenneth Harvey
Wing and a Prayer 1944 Flight Cmdr. Bingo Harper
Happy Land 1943 Lew Marsh
Heaven Can Wait 1943 Henry Van Cleve
Something to Shout About 1943 Ken Douglas
Girl Trouble 1942 Pedro Sullivan
The Magnificent Dope 1942 Dwight Dawson
Confirm or Deny 1941 'Mitch' Mitchell
The Feminine Touch 1941 John Hathaway
Kiss the Boys Goodbye 1941 Lloyd Lloyd
Moon Over Miami 1941 Phil O'Neil (Credits)
That Night in Rio 1941 Larry Martin / Baron Duarte
Down Argentine Way 1940 Ricardo Quintana
Four Sons 1940 Chris
Lillian Russell 1940 Edward Solomon
Swanee River 1939 Stephen Foster
Hollywood Cavalcade 1939 Michael Linnett Connors
The Story of Alexander Graham Bell 1939 Alexander Graham Bell
Midnight 1939 Tibor Czerny
The Three Musketeers 1939 D'Artagnan
Gateway 1938 Dick Court
Josette 1938 David Brassard Jr.
Alexander's Ragtime Band 1938 Charlie Dwyer
Happy Landing 1938 Jimmy Hall
In Old Chicago 1937 Jack O'Leary
Love Under Fire 1937 Tracy Egan
You Can't Have Everything 1937 George Macrae
Fifty Roads to Town 1937 Peter Nostrand
Love Is News 1937 Martin J. Canavan
One in a Million 1936 Bob Harris
Ladies in Love 1936 Dr. Rudi Imre
Ramona 1936 Alessandro
Sins of Man 1936 Karl Freyman / Mario Signarelli
Dante's Inferno 1935 Man in Stoke-Hold (uncredited)
Clive of India 1935 Prisoner in the Black Hole (unconfirmed, uncredited)

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Hidden Hollywood: Treasures from the 20th Century Fox Film Vaults 1997 TV Movie documentary performer: "Easter Parade" uncredited, "Some Sunny Day"
Cocoon 1985 performer: "I'm in the Mood for Love", "Some Enchanted Evening"
Beloved Infidel 1959 performer: "Boa Noite Good-Night" - uncredited
The DuPont Show of the Month 1957 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Slightly French 1949 performer: "Let's Fall in Love"
It's in the Bag! 1945 performer: "The Curse of an Aching Heart" 1913 - uncredited
Greenwich Village 1944 performer: "Swingin' Down the Lane", "When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose" - uncredited
Something to Shout About 1943 performer: "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To"
The Magnificent Dope 1942 performer: "Shortnin' Bread" - uncredited
Kiss the Boys Goodbye 1941 "Find Yourself a Melody" / performer: "I'll Never Let a Day Pass By"
Moon Over Miami 1941 "You Started Something" 1941 / performer: "I've Got You All To Myself" 1941, "Loveliness and Love" 1941
That Night in Rio 1941 performer: "Chica Chica Boom Chic", "The Conference", "They Met in Rio A Midnight Serenade", "Boa Noite Good-Night" - uncredited
Down Argentine Way 1940 performer: "Down Argentina Way" 1940, "Two Dreams Met" 1940 - uncredited
Lillian Russell 1940 performer: "Adored One" 1940, "Blue Lovebird" 1940, "After the Ball" 1892 uncredited
The Three Musketeers 1939 "My Lady" 1939, uncredited / performer: "Song of the Musketeers" 1939, "My Lady" 1939, "Voila" 1939 - uncredited
Alexander's Ragtime Band 1938 performer: "Alexander's Ragtime Band" 1911, "Now It Can Be Told" 1938, "Easter Parade" 1933, "Some Sunny Day" 1922 - uncredited
Happy Landing 1938 performer: "A Gypsy Told Me"
In Old Chicago 1937 performer: "Sweet Genevieve" 1869, "The Irish Washerwoman" - uncredited
You Can't Have Everything 1937 "Afraid to Dream" 1937, "Please Pardon Us, We're in Love" 1937, uncredited / performer: "Afraid to Dream" 1937 - uncredited
One in a Million 1936 performer: "Who's Afraid of Love?" 1936
Ramona 1936 lyrics: "How the Rabbit Lost His Tail" 1936 - uncredited

Director

Director

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Julia 1970 TV Series 1 episode

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Screen Snapshots Series 18, No. 8 1939 Documentary short Himself
One on One with John Tesh 1992 TV Series Himself - Guest
Reflections on the Silver Screen 1991 TV Series Himself
The 8th Annual American Cinema Awards 1991 TV Special Himself
The 47th Annual Golden Globe Awards 1990 TV Special Himself - Presenter: Best Motion Picture Drama
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts 1989 TV Special Himself
CBS This Morning 1988 TV Series Himself - Guest
Talking Pictures 1988 TV Series documentary Himself
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts 1987 TV Special documentary Himself
The 59th Annual Academy Awards 1987 TV Special Himself - Presenter: Best Actress in a Supporting Role
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Billy Wilder 1986 TV Special documentary Himself
Late Night with David Letterman 1986 TV Series Himself
The 58th Annual Academy Awards 1986 TV Special Himself - Winner: Best Actor in a Supporting Role
The 12th Annual People's Choice Awards 1986 TV Special Himself - Presenter: Favourite New Television Comedy Program
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts 1985 TV Special Himself
This Is Your Life 1984 TV Series documentary Himself
Hour Magazine 1982 TV Series Himself
Night of 100 Stars 1982 TV Special Himself
The Bob Braun Show 1972 TV Series Himself - Actor
The Mike Douglas Show 1963-1970 TV Series Himself - Co-Host / Himself - Actor
The David Frost Show 1970 TV Series Himself - Guest
The Ed Sullivan Show 1957-1967 TV Series Henry Orient / Himself
The Hollywood Palace 1967 TV Series Himself
Rings Around the World 1966 Documentary Host / Ringmaster
International Showtime 1961-1965 TV Series Himself - Host
The Match Game 1964 TV Series Himself - Team Captain
The Price Is Right 1964 TV Series Himself
The Jack Paar Tonight Show 1962 TV Series Himself - Guest
The Tonight Show 1962 TV Series Himself - Actor
I've Got a Secret 1956-1962 TV Series Himself - Panelist / Himself - Guest
Password All-Stars 1961 TV Series Himself - Celebrity Contestant
To Tell the Truth 1957-1961 TV Series Himself - Panelist
Our American Heritage 1961 TV Series Himself - Narrator
The Frances Langford Show 1960 TV Series Himself - Guest
The Pat Boone-Chevy Showroom 1958 TV Series Himself
The Lux Show 1958 TV Series Himself
Val Parnell's Sunday Night at the London Palladium 1958 TV Series Himself
General Motors 50th Anniversary Show 1957 TV Movie Himself
The Polly Bergen Show 1957 TV Series Himself
What's My Line? 1953-1957 TV Series Himself - Panelist / Himself
The Arthur Murray Party 1957 TV Series Himself
A Welcome Guest in the House 1957 Documentary short Narrator (voice)
Person to Person 1956 TV Series documentary Himself
Texaco Star Theatre 1949-1954 TV Series Himself - Actor
Coke Time 1953 TV Series Himself - Announcer
The Saturday Night Revue 1953 TV Series Himself
Screen Snapshots 5852: Hollywood Night at '21' Club 1952 Documentary short Himself - Celebration Guest
The Frank Sinatra Show 1951 TV Series Himself - Sketch Actor
All Star Revue 1951 TV Series Himself - Guest Actor
Take a Chance 1950 TV Series Host
Don Ameche's Musical Playhouse 1950 TV Series Himself - Host
The Saturday Night Revue with Jack Carter 1950 TV Series Himself
Week End in Hollywood 1947 Documentary short Himself
Rough But Hopeful 1946 Short Himself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Edición Especial Coleccionista 2012 TV Series Mortimer Duke
Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1930s: Dancing Away the Great Depression 2009 Video documentary Himself
The 80th Annual Academy Awards 2008 TV Special Himself
Lipstick & Dynamite, Piss & Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling 2004 TV Movie documentary Himself (uncredited)
Seabiscuit: Racing Through History 2003 Video documentary short Himself (uncredited)
Twentieth Century Fox: The Blockbuster Years 2000 TV Movie documentary Arthur Selwyn
Boom! Hollywood's Greatest Disaster Movies 2000 Video documentary
Biography 1995-1999 TV Series documentary Himself / Alexander Graham Bell
Hidden Hollywood: Treasures from the 20th Century Fox Film Vaults 1997 TV Movie documentary Himself
The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender 1997 Documentary Himself
A Century of Cinema 1994 Documentary Himself
The 66th Annual Academy Awards 1994 TV Special Himself - Memorial Tribute
The 1930's: Music, Memories & Milestones 1988 Video documentary Himself
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color 1978 TV Series Commander Taylor
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Henry Fonda 1978 TV Special documentary Alexander Graham Bell (uncredited)
Fred Astaire Salutes the Fox Musicals 1974 TV Movie Himself
F for Fake 1973 Documentary Himself (uncredited)
Land of Liberty 1939 Alexander Graham Bell

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1988 Pasinetti Award Venice Film Festival Best Actor Things Change (1988)
1988 Volpi Cup Venice Film Festival Best Actor Things Change (1988) · Joe Mantegna
1986 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Actor in a Supporting Role Cocoon (1985)
1960 Star on the Walk of Fame Walk of Fame Television On 8 February 1960. At 6101 Hollywood Blvd.
1960 Star on the Walk of Fame Walk of Fame Radio On 8 February 1960. At 6313 Hollywood Blvd.


Looks like we don't have salary information. Sorry!


#Quote
1 [on Darryl F. Zanuck] Zanuck never did anything but be nice to me. Oh yeah, maybe he chased Alice Faye around, but a lot of people chased Alice Faye around.

#Trademark
1 Distinctive voice
2 Was well known for having a peaceful, soothing but authoritative sounding voice.

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