Eddie Anderson is a Actor American born on 18 september 1905 at Oakland (USA)
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Birth name Edmund Lincoln AndersonNationality USABirth 18 september 1905Edmund Lincoln Anderson (September 18, 1905 – February 28, 1977) was an American comedian and actor.
at Oakland (USA
)Death 28 february 1977
(at 71 years) at Los Angeles (USA
Anderson got his start in show business as a teenager on the vaudeville circuit. In the early 1930s, he transitioned into films and radio. In 1937, he began his most famous role of Rochester van Jones, usually known simply as "Rochester", the valet of Jack Benny, on his radio show The Jack Benny Program. Anderson became the first African American to have a regular role on a nationwide radio program. When the series moved to television, Anderson continued in the role until the series' end in 1965.
After the series ended, Anderson remained active with guest starring roles on television and voice work in animated series. He was also an avid horse-racing fan who owned several race horses and worked as a horse trainer at the Hollywood Park Racetrack.
Anderson was married twice and had four children. He died of heart disease in February 1977 at the age of 71.
Marriages and children
In 1932, Anderson married Mamie (Wiggins) Nelson. She was the daughter of Alonzo and Annie Wiggins of Eastman, GA.
Mamie died on August 5, 1954, at the age of 43, following a two-year battle with cancer. At the time of her death she and Anderson had been married for 22 years and her son Billy (Anderson's stepson) was playing professional football for the Chicago Bears. Billy was born George Billy Nelson to Mamie Wiggins and her previous husband on March 8, 1929, in Los Angeles, CA When Mamie married Eddie Anderson, Billy was adopted and took the surname Anderson.
Following Mamie's death Anderson married Evangela "Eva" Simon on February 8, 1956, at Kingman, Arizona. The couple had three children: daughters Stephanie and Evangela, Jr. ("Eva"), and son Edmund, Jr. Simon and Anderson divorced in 1973 with Anderson retaining custody of his minor son and daughter.
Like many of the African-Americans in the entertainment industry, Anderson made his home in the West Adams district of Los Angeles. In previous times, the district had been home to doctors, lawyers, and railroad barons. In the Depression era, the area had fallen into hard times, with many residents needing to either sell their homes or rent out rooms in them. By the 1940s, the African-American entertainment community began purchasing homes in the district, nicknaming it "Sugar Hill". Some property owners reacted to their new neighbors by adding restrictive covenants to their deeds. The covenants either prohibited African-Americans from purchasing a property or inhabiting it once purchased. The practice was declared illegal by the US Supreme Court in 1948.
Since Anderson wanted to build a home designed by Paul Williams, he was limited in his choice of a site for it by these restrictive covenants. As a result, his large and luxurious home with a swimming pool where the neighborhood children were always welcome, stands in an area of smaller, bungalow-style homes. The street was renamed because 'Rochester' lived on it.
Anderson built model airplanes and racing cars, but also designed a life-size sports car for himself in 1951. Anderson combined a Cadillac engine under the hood and a sleek, low-slung exterior to create a car he both drove and exhibited at various sports car shows throughout the country.
Anderson, who was the skipper of his own cabin cruiser, was missing and feared lost at sea in February, 1946. When the boat developed engine trouble, Anderson and his two friends did everything sailors are expected to do to signal an SOS. They used mirrors, built fires, used lanterns and flew the ship's flag upside-down to indicate they were in distress. They spent the night adrift until a fishing boat finally spotted them and towed them into Los Angeles harbor. Anderson did not realize he had caused great concern until he heard a news story on the radio that described the search for him as still continuing. On the following Sunday, Anderson was back on the "Lucky Strike Program," and joked with Jack Benny about the incident. ("That's the first time I ever had a 'lost weekend' on nothing but water!")
Anderson was the owner of racehorses. The best known of them was Burnt Cork, a Thoroughbred that ran in the 1943 Kentucky Derby, making him the first African-American owner of a horse entered into the Derby. Having been given the following day off by Benny, Anderson and his wife, Mamie, traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to see their horse run in the Derby. Since segregation in public accommodations was practiced there, the Andersons were invited to be guests at the home of Mae Street Kidd, a noted female African-American Kentucky politician.
Both before and after the race, Anderson was accused of entering his horse in the race strictly for publicity purposes for himself, especially after Burnt Cork finished last. Those making the statements believed this tarnished the name and history of the race. Jack Cuddy, a United Press International sports columnist, pointed out in his column that around the same time Burnt Cork ran last for Anderson, King George VI's horse, Tipstaff, finished last at Ascot without any of the comments that surrounded Anderson.
When Burnt Cork won an important race, Anderson came to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for work dressed as a Kentucky colonel; he also insisted on being called "Colonel Rochester".
After the Benny television show had left the air, Anderson turned back to his love of horses and racing, working as a trainer at the Hollywood Park Racetrack until shortly before his death. He acquired much of his knowledge when one of his racing horses, Up and Over, was injured in a fall; it was suggested that the horse be euthanized due to the extent of those injuries. Anderson refused this and said he would take care of his injured animal. He spent extensive periods of time at the Paramount Pictures studio library, reading everything in their collection on equine anatomy. This led Anderson to a veterinary surgeon who was interested in helping Up and Over; together the two men brought the thoroughbred back on his feet again.