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Birth name Clifton Avon EdwardsNationality USABirth 14 june 1895
at Hannibal (USA
)Death 17 july 1971
(at 76 years) at Hollywood (USA
Clifton Avon Edwards (June 14, 1895 – July 17, 1971) — known as "Ukulele Ike" — was an American singer and voice actor who enjoyed considerable popularity in the 1920s and early '30s, specializing in jazzy renditions of pop standards and novelty tunes. He had a number-one hit with "Singin' In The Rain" in 1929. He also did voices for animated cartoons later in his career, and is best known as the voice of Jiminy Cricket in Walt Disney's Pinocchio (1940).
Edwards was careless with the money he made in the 1920s, always trying to sustain his expensive habits and lifestyle. He continued working during the Great Depression, but he would never again enjoy his former prosperity. Most of his income went to alimony for his three former wives and paying debts. He declared bankruptcy four times during the 1930s and early 1940s. Edwards married his first wife Gertrude Ryrholm in 1919, but they divorced four years later. He married Irene Wylie in 1923; they divorced in 1931. In 1932, he married his third and final wife, actress Judith Barrett. They divorced in 1936.
Edwards suffered from alcoholism and drug addiction in his later years, and was also a heavy smoker for most of his life. Living in a home for indigent actors, Edwards often spent his time at the Walt Disney Studios to be available any time he could get voice work. He was sometimes taken to lunch by animators whom he told stories of his days in vaudeville. He had nearly disappeared from the public eye at the time of his death in 1971 from a cardiac arrest brought on by arteriosclerosis. Now penniless, Edwards was a charity patient at the Virgil Convalescent Hospital in Hollywood, California. His body was unclaimed and was donated to the University of California, Los Angeles medical school. When Walt Disney Productions, who had been quietly paying many of his medical expenses, discovered this, they offered to purchase his remains and pay for the burial. Instead, it was done by the Actors' Fund of America (which had also aided Edwards) and the Motion Picture and Television Relief Fund. Disney paid for his grave marker.