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Ernie Kovacs is a Actor American born on 23 january 1919 at Trenton (USA)

Ernie Kovacs

Ernie Kovacs
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Birth name Ernest Edward Kovacs
Nationality USA
Birth 23 january 1919 at Trenton (USA)
Death 13 january 1962 (at 42 years) at Beverly Hills (USA)
Awards Emmy Award

Ernest Edward "Ernie" Kovacs (January 23, 1919 – January 13, 1962) was an American comedian, actor, and writer.

Kovacs' uninhibited, often ad-libbed, and visually experimental comedic style came to influence numerous television comedy programs for years after his death in an automobile accident. Many shows, such as Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, Saturday Night Live, Monty Python, The Uncle Floyd Show, Captain Kangaroo, Sesame Street and The Electric Company are credited with having been influenced by Kovacs. Chevy Chase acknowledged Kovacs' influence and thanked him during his acceptance speech for his Emmy award for Saturday Night Live.

On or off screen, Kovacs could be counted on for the unexpected, from having marmosets as pets to wrestling a jaguar on his live Philadelphia television show.

When working at WABC (AM) as a morning-drive radio personality and doing a mid-morning television show for NBC, Kovacs disliked eating breakfast alone while his wife, Edie Adams, was sleeping in after her Broadway performances. His solution was to hire a taxi driver to come into their apartment with his own key and make breakfast for them both, then take Ernie to the WABC studios.

While Kovacs and Adams received Emmy nominations for best performances in a comedy series in 1957, his talent was not formally recognized until after his death. The 1962 Emmy for outstanding electronic camera work and the Directors' Guild award came a short time after his fatal accident. A quarter century later, he was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. Kovacs also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in television. In 1986, the Museum of Television & Radio (now the Paley Center for Media) presented an exhibit of Kovacs' work, called The Vision of Ernie Kovacs. The Pulitzer Prize–winning television critic, William Henry III, wrote for the museum's booklet: "Kovacs was more than another wide-eyed, self-ingratiating clown. He was television's first significant video artist.


First marriage
Kovacs and his first wife, Bette Wilcox, were married on August 13, 1945. When the marriage ended, he fought for custody of their children, Elizabeth ("Bette") and Kip Raleigh ("Kippie"). The court awarded Kovacs full custody upon determining that his former wife was mentally unstable. The decision was extremely unusual at the time, setting a legal precedent. Wilcox subsequently kidnapped the children, taking them to Florida. After a long and expensive search, Kovacs regained custody. These events were portrayed in the television film, Ernie Kovacs: Between the Laughter (1984), which gained an Emmy Award nomination for its writer, April Smith. Kovacs was portrayed by Jeff Goldblum.

Kovacs' first wife made a legal attempt to gain custody of her two daughters shortly after his death. She began August 2, 1962 by claiming $500,000 was her share of Kovacs' estate and charging her ex-husband had abducted the girls in 1955; Kovacs had been granted legal custody of his daughters in 1952. On August 30, Wilcox filed an affidavit claiming that Kovacs' widow, Edie Adams, the stepmother to the girls, was "unfit" to care for them. Both daughters, Bette and Kippie, testified that they wanted to stay with their stepmother, Edie. Kippie's testimony was very emotional; in it she referred to Edie as "Mommy" and her birth mother as "the other lady." Upon hearing the verdict that the girls would remain in their home, Adams broke down, saying, "This is what Ernie would have wanted. Now I can smile." Elizabeth Kovacs' reaction was "I'm so happy I can hardly express myself", after learning she and her sister would not be forced to leave Edie.

Second marriage

Kovacs and Adams met in 1951 when she was hired to work on his WPTZ show, Three To Get Ready. Her appearance on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts caught the eye of Kovacs' producer, and he asked her to audition for the program. A classically trained singer, she was able to perform only three popular songs. Edie said later, "I sang them all during the audition, and if they had asked to hear another, I never would have made it." Quoting Kovacs, "I wish I could say I was the big shot that hired her, but it was my show in name only – the producer had all the say. Later on I did have something to say and I said it, 'Let's get married.'"

After the couple's first date, Kovacs proceeded to buy a Jaguar, telling Adams he wanted to take her out in style. He was seriously taken with the beautiful and talented young woman, courting her with imagination and flair. Kovacs' attempts to win Adams' heart included hiring a mariachi band to serenade her backstage at the Broadway musical she was performing in and the sudden gift of a diamond engagement ring, telling her to wear it until she made up her mind. Kovacs continued this romantic quest after the show went out of town.

Adams booked a six-week European cruise which she hoped would let her make up her mind whether or not to marry Kovacs. After only three days away and many long-distance calls, she cut short her trip and returned to say "yes". They eloped and were married on September 12, 1954 in Mexico City. The ceremony was presided over by former New York City mayor William O'Dwyer and was performed in Spanish, which neither Kovacs nor Adams understood; O'Dwyer had to prompt each of them to say "Sí" at the "I do" portion of the vows. Adams, who had a very middle class upbringing, was smitten by Kovacs' quirky ways; the couple remained together until his death. (She later said about Kovacs, "He treated me like a little girl, and I loved it—Women's Lib be damned!")

Adams also supported Kovacs' struggle to reclaim his two older children after the kidnapping by their mother. She also was a regular partner on his television shows. Kovacs usually introduced or addressed her in a businesslike way, as "Edith Adams". Adams was usually willing to do anything he envisioned, whether it was singing seriously, performing impersonations (including a well-regarded impression of Marilyn Monroe), or taking a pie in the face or a pratfall if and when needed. The couple had one daughter, Mia Susan Kovacs, born June 20, 1959.

Kovacs and his family shared a 16-room apartment in Manhattan on Central Park West that seemed perfect until Ernie went to California for his first movie role in Operation Mad Ball. The experience of the totally different, laid-back lifestyle of Hollywood made a big impression on him. He realized he was working far too much in New York; in California he would be able to work fewer hours, do just as well or better, and have more time for Edie and his daughters. At the time he was working most of the time and sleeping about two or three hours a night. When he was telling his girls a bedtime story and found himself thinking of writing it up instead, Ernie realized it was time for a change. Kovacs moved his family there in 1957, after Edie finished Li'l Abner on Broadway.

Usually with

Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
(4 films)
Dick Crockett
Dick Crockett
(3 films)
Kim Novak
Kim Novak
(3 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Ernie Kovacs (10 films)

Display filmography as list


Five Golden Hours, 1h30
Directed by Mario Zampi
Genres Comedy
Actors Cyd Charisse, Ernie Kovacs, George Sanders, Kay Hammond, Dennis Price, Clelia Matania
Roles Aldo Bondi
Rating56% 2.8179052.8179052.8179052.8179052.817905
Aldo Bondi (Kovacs) is a professional pallbearer and mourner in Rome who lives well off the extravagant gifts given to him by the rich widows he comforts. When he falls for the supposedly penniless Baroness Sandra (Charisse) – who is actually a rich "black widow" whose husbands all die – he concocts a Ponzi scheme to bilk three widows by taking money from them, telling them that he will invest it during the "five golden hours" between the closing of the stock exchange in Rome, and the opening of the New York Stock Exchange. However, the Baroness absconds with the cash, leaving Bondi in hock to the widows. He attempts to kill them, but the scheme fails and he pretends to have gone insane. In the sanatarium, his roommate is another debtor feigning madness, Mr. Bing (Sanders).
Sail A Crooked Ship, 1h28
Directed by Irving Brecher
Origin USA
Genres Comedy
Themes Seafaring films, Transport films, Heist films
Actors Robert Wagner, Dolores Hart, Carolyn Jones, Frankie Avalon, Ernie Kovacs, Frank Gorshin
Roles Bugsy G. Foglemeyer aka The Captain
Rating61% 3.054993.054993.054993.054993.05499
When Gilbert Barrows (Robert Wagner) disobeys his boss and tries to refit an old Liberty Ship for cargo use instead of scrapping it, he inadvertently puts it into the hands of a colorful group of crooks led by good-hearted screw-up Bugsy G. Fogelmeyer (Ernie Kovacs) and brainy sociopath George M. Wilson (Frank Gorshin). The crooks plan to use the ship to make their getaway after they pull a bank robbery in Boston, and they kidnap Barrows and his girlfriend Elinor Harrison (Dolores Hart) – his boss's daughter – to prevent leaving any witnesses behind. With the help of Bugsy's nephew Rodney J. Fogelmeyer (Frankie Avalon), Gilbert and Elinor manage to foil the crooks' plans by using Elinor's bra as a slingshot and attracting the Coast Guard.
North to Alaska, 1h57
Directed by John Wayne, Henry Hathaway
Origin USA
Genres Comedy, Action, Adventure, Romance, Western
Themes Musical films, Children's films
Actors Stewart Granger, John Wayne, Capucine, Fabian Forte, Ernie Kovacs, Mickey Shaughnessy
Roles Frankie Canon
Rating69% 3.497673.497673.497673.497673.49767
After finding gold in Nome, Alaska, George Pratt (Stewart Granger) sends partner Sam McCord (John Wayne) to Seattle, Washington to bring back his fiancée, a French girl whom Sam has never met.
Strangers When We Meet, 1h57
Directed by Richard Quiney
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Romance
Themes Films about sexuality
Actors Kirk Douglas, Kim Novak, Barbara Rush, Ernie Kovacs, Walter Matthau, Virginia Bruce
Roles Roger Altar
Rating70% 3.5458453.5458453.5458453.5458453.545845
Larry Coe is a Los Angeles architect who is married with two kids. He has a very bright wife, Eve. She is ambitious for him, but he wants to do work more imaginative than the commercial buildings he's been designing. He meets with Roger Altar, an author, to discuss building a house that will be an "experiment" and something Coe wants to do more of, something original.
Wake Me When It's Over, 2h6
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy
Origin USA
Genres Comedy
Themes Military humor in film, Transport films, Aviation films, Children's films, United States Armed Forces in films
Actors Dick Shawn, Ernie Kovacs, Darlene Tompkins, Jack Warden, Nobu McCarthy, Don Knotts
Roles Capt. Charlie Stark
Rating64% 3.2440553.2440553.2440553.2440553.244055
Gus Brubaker (Dick Shawn) is a self-described schnook. His wife talks him into applying for G.I. insurance for which he is eligible from his World War II service with the Air Force. Gus is reluctant because he was shot down and became a prisoner of war, but the military had listed him as killed. A red-tape foulup results in Gus being back in uniform, assigned to a ramshackle radar station on a backwater island near Japan. The airmen assigned there are apathetic, slovenly, and unmotivated. Its equipment and supplies are a collection of junk, abandoned or surplus.
Pepe (1960)
, 3h15
Directed by Walter Hill, George Sidney
Origin USA
Genres Comedy, Musical theatre
Themes Films about music and musicians, Musical films
Actors Cantinflas, Dan Dailey, Shirley Jones, Janet Leigh, Carlos Montalbán, Vicki Trickett
Roles Immigration Inspector
Rating55% 2.754012.754012.754012.754012.75401
Mario Moreno ("Cantinflas") is Pepe, a hired hand, employed on a ranch. A boozing Hollywood director, Mr. Holt, buys a white stallion that belongs to Pepe's boss. Pepe, determined to get the horse back (as he considers it his family), decides to take off to Hollywood. There he meets film stars including Jimmy Durante, Frank Sinatra, Zsa Zsa Gabór, Bing Crosby, Maurice Chevalier and Jack Lemmon in drag as Daphne from Some Like It Hot. He is also surprised by things that were new in America at the time, such as automatic swinging doors. When he finally reaches the man who bought the horse, he is led to believe there is no hope of getting it back. However Mr. Holt offers him a job when he realizes the Pepe brings new life to the stallion. Now his luck is changing and in Las Vegas Pepe wins big money, enough that Mr. Hold lets him be the producer of his next movie. Most of the movie centers around his meeting Shirley Jones who plays an actress on hard times and hating the world. Just like with the stallion, Pepe brings out the best in Shirley Jones and helps her become a big star in a movie made by Mr. Holt. Shirley Jones does a great job both as a dancer and singing the lead song called "Pepe." For those who love movies that are set in Acapulco, Mexico, this one has great appeal and beautiful scenery. The last scene shows both him and the stallion back at the ranch with several foals.
Our Man in Havana, 1h43
Directed by Carol Reed
Origin United-kingdom
Genres Drama, Thriller, Comedy, Comedy-drama, Action, Spy
Themes Spy films, Seafaring films, Transport films, Political films
Actors Alec Guinness, Burl Ives, Ralph Richardson, Maureen O'Hara, Ernie Kovacs, Noël Coward
Roles Capt. Segura
Rating71% 3.5980553.5980553.5980553.5980553.598055
In pre-revolutionary Cuba, James Wormold (Alec Guinness), a vacuum cleaner salesman, is recruited by Hawthorne (Noël Coward) of the British Secret Intelligence Service to be their Havana operative. Instead of recruiting his own agents, Wormold invents agents from men he knows only by sight, and sketches "plans" for a rocket-launching pad based on vacuum parts to increase his value to the service and to procure more money for himself and his expensive daughter Milly (Jo Morrow). Because his importance grows, he is sent a secretary, Beatrice (Maureen O'Hara), and a radioman from London to be under his command. With their arrival it becomes much harder for Wormold to maintain his facade. However, all of his invented information begins to come true: his cables home are intercepted and believed to be true by enemy agents who then act against his "cell". One of his "agents" is killed, and he is himself targeted for assassination. He admits what he's done to his secretary, and is recalled to London. At the film's conclusion, rather than telling the truth to the prime minister and other military intelligence services, Wormold's commanders (led by Ralph Richardson) agree to fabricate a story claiming his imagined machines had been dismantled, bestow honors on Wormold, and offer him a position teaching espionage classes in London.
It Happened to Jane, 1h37
Directed by Richard Quiney
Origin USA
Genres Comedy, Romantic comedy, Romance
Actors Doris Day, Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs, Jack Carter, Steve Forrest, Gina Gillespie
Roles Harry Foster Malone
Rating65% 3.298173.298173.298173.298173.29817
In May 1959, in the town of Cape Anne, Maine, a foul-up by the Eastern & Portland Railroad (E&P) results in the death of 300 lobsters shipped by Jane Osgood (Day), an attractive, widowed businesswoman with two children. She gets her lawyer and friend, George Denham (Lemmon), to go after the E&P to pay damages after her customer, the Marshalltown Country Club, refuses all future orders.
Bell, Book and Candle, 1h46
Directed by Richard Quiney
Origin USA
Genres Science fiction, Fantastic, Comedy, Romantic comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Themes Films about magic and magicians, Christmas films, Witches in film, Films based on plays
Actors James Stewart, Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, Janice Rule, Elsa Lanchester, Ernie Kovacs
Roles Sidney Redlitch
Rating68% 3.4472053.4472053.4472053.4472053.447205
During the Christmas holiday season, Greenwich Village witch Gillian Holroyd (Kim Novak), a free spirit with a penchant for going barefoot, has been unlucky in love and restless in life. She admires from afar her neighbor, publisher Shep Henderson (James Stewart), who one day walks into her gallery of African art to use the telephone (after Gillian's aunt Elsa Lanchester put a spell on his phone). When she learns he is about to marry an old college enemy of hers, Merle Kittridge (Janice Rule), Gillian takes revenge by casting a love spell on Shep, and she eventually falls for him herself. She must make a choice, as witches who fall in love lose their supernatural powers. When she decides to love Shep, Gillian's cat and familiar, Pyewacket, becomes agitated and leaves.
Operation Mad Ball, 1h45
Directed by Richard Quiney
Origin USA
Genres War, Comedy
Themes Military humor in film
Actors Jack Lemmon, Kathryn Crosby, Ernie Kovacs, Mickey Rooney, Arthur O'Connell, Dick York
Roles Capt. Paul Lock
Rating64% 3.24813.24813.24813.24813.2481
In a hospital unit in the U.S. Army in Europe after World War II, Private Hogan (Jack Lemmon) does not believe that a blue-stocking can be good-looking, but the first sight of dietetic nurse Lieutenant Betty Bixby (Kathryn Grant) sets him straight. When he picks her cigarette lighter up and puts his weapon aside, he is surprísed by security officer Paul Locke (Ernie Kovacs) who admonishes him for putting down his weapon while on guard duty and confines him to quarters preliminary to a court martial. The Colonel in charge of the unit (Arthur O'Connell), however, would prefer to keep everything "in the family" and avoid a court martial.