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Imogene Coca

Biography

b. Imogene Fernandez de Coca, 18 November 1908, Philadelphia, Pa, USA, d. 2 June 2001, Westport, Connecticut, USA. Given birth to right into a showbusiness family members, Coca’s dad was a conductor, her mom a dancer, and Imogene began to be always a dancer. She made an appearance on Broadway in WHENEVER YOU Smile (1925, which starred Jeanette MacDonald), Garrick Gaieties (1930), Take The Functions (1931), and Soaring Colours (1932). Adding humor to her dance routines, the diminutive and powerful Coca first drawn critical and target audience acclaim in New Encounters Of 1934. Theatrical story has it that this heating system failed and she was sent to distract the target audience although it was set. She made an appearance in Fools Hurry In (1934), New Encounters Of 1936 (1936), Who’s Who (1938), as well as the Straw Hat Revue (1939). Through the years she performed theatres she also worked well in nightclubs, like the Silver precious metal Slipper, Café Culture Downtown and Le Ruban Bleu. Her work included biting parodies of showbusiness superstars and she sang with verve and strike. Theatrical engagements within the 40s consist of All In Fun (1940) and Concert Types (1945). In 1950 Coca produced her breakthrough, signing up for Sid Caesar in NBC’s live tv comedy, Your Present Of Displays. She have been on tv before, in the past due 40s, but this brand-new present, which had started in 1949 because the Admiral Broadway Revue, got its superstars through the roofing combined with the rankings. Energetic, unpredictable, with a exciting comic creativity, Coca was an excellent foil for Caesar. Once the present finished in 1954, she continued to star within the Imogene Coca Present (1954) and in addition made an appearance in Sid Caesar Invites You (1958), as well as other tv series, circumstance comedies and special deals through in to the 80s, like the Andy Williams Present (1964), The Dean Martin Present (1966), The Carol Burnett Present (1968/9), The Jackie Gleason Display (1968), Bewitched (1971), as well as the Return FROM THE Beverly Hillbillies (1981). Her last Broadway appearance was as Letitia Primrose in AROUND THE Twentieth Hundred years (1978), that she was nominated for any Tony Honor. Her last film appearance is at Purchase & Cell (1989). Her last tv roles arrived in Alice In Wonderland (1985, because the Make), and Hollywood: The Film (1996, as Roxy). Her last years had been spent in seclusion as she experienced the consequences of Alzheimer’s disease.

Quick Facts


Full Name Imogene Coca
Died June 2, 2001, Westport, Connecticut, United States
Height 1.6 m
Profession Actor, Comedian
Nationality American
Spouse King Donovan, Robert Burton
Parents José Fernandez de Coca, Sadie Brady
Awards Peabody Award, Primetime Emmy Award for Best Actress
Music Songs On the Twentieth Century: Repent, On the Twentieth Century: Sextet, On the Twentieth Century: Five Zeros, When You Dance In Paris, France
Nominations Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Primetime Emmy Award for Best Actress Starring In A Regular Series, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, Primetime Emmy Award for Best Comedian Or Comedienne, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Movies National Lampoon's Vacation, Under the Yum Yum Tree, Nothing Lasts Forever, Buy & Cell, Alice in Wonderland, Return of the Beverly Hillbillies, Freddie the Freeloader's Christmas Dinner, Ten From Your Show of Shows, The Sound of Laughter, The Fabulous '50s, Too Easy to Kill
TV Shows Your Show of Shows, Admiral Broadway Revue, It's About Time, Grindl, The Imogene Coca Show, Buzzy Wuzzy, The Sid Caesar Show


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

#Fact
1 During an evening talk show (1960), she described the comical side of audiences thinking she and Sid Caesar were married, due to their long, successful work together. she described Sid's wife as tall and gorgeous, and who invariably heard restaurant customers whisper loudly "Well, I wonder what Imogene will think when she hears about this" As she walked by with Sid, her husband. Imogene always complimented Sid's wife on her sense of humor at her acceptance of these comments.
2 Was of Spanish and Irish descent. Her paternal grandfather emigrated to the US from Coca, Segovia, Spain.
3 Profiled in the book, "Funny Ladies", by Stephen M. Silverman. [1999]
4 Was nominated for Broadway's 1978 Tony Award as Best Actress (Featured Role - Musical) for "On the Twentieth Century."
5 Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. Pg. 109-111. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
6 Suffered from Alzheimer's disease at the time of her death.
7 In 1973, she was severely injured in a car accident. She lost her sight in her right eye when the rearview mirror hit her eye, split her leg open, broke her cheekbone, and fractured her ankle.
8 Offstage, Imogene Coca was extremely shy and gentle.
9 A devoted animal lover, she once bought a crippled duck for 60 cents while vacationing in California. She nursed the bird back to health on the terrace of her Manhattan penthouse.
10 Made breakthrough in Broadway revue 'New Faces of 1934.'
11 A talented singer and dancer who took piano lessons at 5, singing lessons at 6, and dance class at 7. Made stage debut as 9-year-old dancer, then solo singing stint at age 11.
12 First husband Robert Burton arranged music for many of her sketches. Second husband was actor King Donovan, who often performed with her in theater.
13 Was the daughter of José Fernandez de Coca, a violinist and vaudeville band leader, and Sadie Brady Coca, a dancer who also performed in a magician's act.


Actress

Actress

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Hollywood: The Movie 1996 Video Roxy
Garfield and Friends 1994 TV Series
Monsters 1989 TV Series The Old Woman
Moonlighting 1988 TV Series Clara DiPesto
Buy & Cell 1987 Reggie's Mother / Head Ceo
Papa Was a Preacher 1985 Missy B
Alice in Wonderland 1985 TV Movie The Cook
Nothing Lasts Forever 1984 Daisy Schackman
Mama's Family 1983 TV Series Gert Corey
Fantasy Island 1983 TV Series Martha Holly
National Lampoon's Vacation 1983 Aunt Edna
Standing Room Only 1981 TV Series Molly - Bag Lady
The Return of the Beverly Hillbillies 1981 TV Movie Granny's Maw
Trapper John, M.D. 1980 TV Series Veronica
Rabbit Test 1978 Madam Marie
The Wide World of Mystery 1975 TV Series Mrs. Bradshaw
Ten from Your Show of Shows 1973
Love, American Style 1970-1972 TV Series Netta Clark (segment "Love and the Out-of-Town Client") / Doctor's Wife (segment "Love and the Fighting Couple")
The Enchanted World of Danny Kaye: The Emperor's New Clothes 1972 TV Movie Princess Jane Klockenlocher
The Brady Bunch 1972 TV Series Aunt Jenny
Night Gallery 1971 TV Series Wife (segment "The Merciful")
Bewitched 1971 TV Series Mary
One Life to Live 1968 TV Series Gladys Mason (1983-1984)
It's About Time 1966-1967 TV Series Shad / Shag / Krek
Grindl 1963-1964 TV Series Grindl
Under the Yum Yum Tree 1963 Dorkus Murphy
Promises..... Promises! 1963 Woman under hair dryer (uncredited)
Shirley Temple's Storybook 1960 TV Series Miss Clavel
The Sid Caesar Show 1958 TV Movie Arline Phillips
General Electric Theater 1957 TV Series Virginia Odell
Producers' Showcase 1957 TV Series Effie Floud
Playhouse 90 1956 TV Series Elsa Meredith
Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre 1956 TV Series Janet Blaine
As the World Turns 1956 TV Series Alice Hammond (1983)
The United States Steel Hour 1956 TV Series Jackie Connors
The Imogene Coca Show 1954 TV Series Betty Crane
Your Show of Shows 1950 TV Series Heself - Regular Performer
Buzzy Wuzzy 1948 TV Series
They Meet Again 1941 Lulu Ford (uncredited)
Beauty Shoppe 1938 Short Beauty Shop Operator
Dime a Dance 1937 Short Esmeralda
Bashful Ballerina 1937 Short Miss Klutz

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Moonlighting 1988 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Alice in Wonderland 1985 TV Movie performer: "There's Something to Say for Hatred"
A Special Sesame Street Christmas 1978 TV Movie performer: "Tomorrow" - uncredited
The 32nd Annual Tony Awards 1978 TV Special performer: "On The Twentieth Century"
The Danny Kaye Show 1964 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Your Show of Shows 1950 TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Admiral Broadway Revue 1949 TV Series performer - 7 episodes

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The 2th Annual Lucy Awards 1995 TV Special Herself - Winner
The Second Annual Comedy Hall of Fame 1994 TV Special Herself
Danny Kaye: Nobody's Fool 1994 TV Movie documentary
Comic Relief VI 1994 TV Special documentary Herself
The First Annual Comedy Hall of Fame 1993 TV Movie Herself
One on One with John Tesh 1991 TV Series Herself
The Chuck Woolery Show 1991 TV Series Herself
Today 1990 TV Series Herself
The 2nd Annual American Comedy Awards 1988 TV Special Herself - Winner: Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy
The 38th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1986 TV Special Herself
Reading Rainbow 1986 TV Series Herself
Broadway Plays Washington on Kennedy Center Tonight 1982 TV Movie Herself
Women I Love: Beautiful But Funny 1982 TV Movie Herself
The 33rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1981 TV Special Herself - Presenter: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series & Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series
A Gift of Music 1981 TV Special Herself
The Big Show 1980 TV Series Herself
A Special Sesame Street Christmas 1978 TV Movie Herself
A Salute to American Imagination 1978 TV Movie documentary Herself
The 32nd Annual Tony Awards 1978 TV Special Herself - Performer & Nominee: Best Featured Actress in a Musical
The Mike Douglas Show 1963-1977 TV Series Herself - Comedienne
The 29th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1977 TV Special Herself - Presenter
The Hollywood Squares 1968-1977 TV Series Herself
The Second Annual Comedy Awards 1976 TV Special Herself
The Bob Hope Show 1970-1971 TV Series Herself
The Tim Conway Comedy Hour 1970 TV Series Herself
The Merv Griffin Show 1970 TV Series Herself
He Said, She Said 1970 TV Series Herself
The Hollywood Palace 1968-1970 TV Series Herself - Sketch Actor / Herself - Hostess / Herself - Host
The Ed Sullivan Show 1957-1969 TV Series Comedian / Herself - Comedian / Herself - Audience Bow / ...
Allen Ludden's Gallery 1969 TV Series Herself
The Carol Burnett Show 1967-1969 TV Series Herself
The Jackie Gleason Show 1968 TV Series Herself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 1963-1968 TV Series Herself - Guest
The Jerry Lewis Show 1967 TV Series Herself
Everybody's Talking 1967 TV Series Herself
The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special 1967 TV Special Herself
What's My Line? 1956-1967 TV Series Herself - Mystery Guest / Herself - Mystery Guest Duo #2
Girl Talk 1967 TV Series Herself
The Dean Martin Show 1966 TV Series Herself
The Eamonn Andrews Show 1965 TV Series Herself
The Danny Kaye Show 1964-1965 TV Series Herself
The Andy Williams Show 1964 TV Series Herself
Stump the Stars 1962 TV Series Herself - Guest Panelist
Here's Hollywood 1962 TV Series Herself
The George Gobel Show 1959-1960 TV Series Herself
This Is Your Life 1960 TV Series Herself
About Faces 1960 TV Series Herself
Showtime 1959 TV Series Herself
I've Got a Secret 1959 TV Series Herself - Guest
Sid Caesar Invites You 1958 TV Series Herself
Sid Caesar Invites You 1958 TV Series Herself
The Steve Allen Plymouth Show 1956 TV Series Herself - Guest Performer
Max Liebman Spectaculars 1956 TV Series Herself
Your Show of Shows 1950-1954 TV Series Herself - Regular Performer / Herself Regular Performer
Person to Person 1954 TV Series documentary Herself - Comedienne
The Paul Winchell Show 1953 TV Series Herself
The Colgate Comedy Hour 1951 TV Series Herself
This Is Show Business 1950 TV Series Herself - Comic Actress
Texaco Star Theatre 1949 TV Series Herself - Comic Actress
The Admiral Broadway Revue 1949 TV Series Herself - Comedian

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Family Truckster 2003 Video documentary short Aunt Edna
Television: The First Fifty Years 1999 Video documentary Herself
Cronkite Remembers 1997 TV Mini-Series documentary Herself (on 'Your Show of Shows') (uncredited)
Caesar's Writers 1996 TV Movie documentary Herself
50 Years of Funny Females 1995 TV Movie documentary Herself
Funny Women of Television 1991 TV Movie documentary Herself
Biography 1987 TV Series documentary Herself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 1983 TV Series Aunt Edna from film NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION
Texaco Presents: A Quarter Century of Bob Hope on Television 1975 TV Special Herself
The Hollywood Palace 1970 TV Series Herself
The Sound of Laughter 1963 Documentary Miss Klutz (Ballerina)
Project XX 1960 TV Series documentary Herself - TV Actor
The Birth of a Star 1944 Short Dancer, clip from 'Dime a Dance'
Excavating the 2000 Year Old Man 2012 Documentary short Herself
American Masters 2009 TV Series documentary Herself
Pioneers of Television 2008 TV Mini-Series documentary Herself
American Experience 2005 TV Series documentary Herself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
2004 OFTA TV Hall of Fame Online Film & Television Association Actors and Actresses
1995 Lucy Award Women in Film Lucy Awards
1988 Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy American Comedy Awards, USA
1960 Star on the Walk of Fame Walk of Fame Television On 8 February 1960. At 6256 Hollywood Blvd.
1954 Personal Award Peabody Awards
1952 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Best Actress

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1988 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series Moonlighting (1985)
1954 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Best Female Star of Regular Series Your Show of Shows (1950)
1953 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Best Comedienne
1952 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Best Comedian or Comedienne
1951 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Best Actress

TitleSalary
Your Show of Shows (1950) $10,000 /week

#Quote
1 The trouble with most comedians who try to do satire is that they are essentially brash, noisy and indelicate people who have to use a sledge hammer to smash a butterfly. Miss Coca, on the other hand, is the timid woman who, when aroused, can beat a tiger to death with a feather. -- TV critic
2 I never thought of myself in comedy at all... I loved going to the theater and seeing people wearing beautiful clothes come down the staircase and start to dance. I wanted to play St. Joan.


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