Art Carney Dies at 85

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Mark Bendiksen, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    CNN is reporting that the great Art Carney has died. Although he was probably best known for "The Honeymooners", he had many wonderful film roles in his career. I think one of my favorites was Going in Style, which I long to see released on DVD someday.

    Rest in Peace, Art.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    Art Carney meant a lot to me. I hope he's meeting Ralph Kramden at the Pearly Gates right now.
     
  3. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    If Gleason was "The Great One", it was in no small part due to Carney.

    RIP [​IMG]

    "Official space helmet off, Captain Video wherever you are...'
     
  4. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    [​IMG]
    'Honeymooners' Actor Art Carney Dies

    By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer

    HARTFORD, Conn. - Art Carney (news), who played Jackie Gleason (news)'s sewer worker pal Ed Norton in the TV classic "The Honeymooners" and went on to win the 1974 Oscar for best actor in "Harry and Tonto," has died at 85.

    Carney died in Chester, Conn., on Sunday. He had been ill for some time.

    The comic actor would be forever identified as Norton, Ralph Kramden's bowling buddy and not-too-bright upstairs neighbor on "The Honeymooners." The sitcom appeared in various forms from 1951 to 1956 and was revived briefly in 1971. The shows can still be seen on cable.

    With his turned-up porkpie hat and unbuttoned vest over a white T-shirt, Carney's Ed Norton with his dopily exuberant "Hey, Ralphie boy!" became an ideal foil for Gleason's blustery, bullying Kramden. Carney won three Emmys for his role and his first taste of fame.

    "The first time I saw the guy act," Gleason once said, "I knew I would have to work twice as hard for my laughs. He was funny as hell."

    In one episode, he and Ralph learn to golf from an instruction book. Told to "address the ball," Norton gives a wave of the hand and says, "Hellooooo, ball!" In another episode, Norton inadvertently wins the award for best costume at a Raccoon Lodge party by showing up in his sewer worker's gear.

    He told a Saturday Evening Post interviewer in 1961 that strangers were always asking him how he liked it down in the sewer. "I have seasonal answers," he said. "In the summer: `I like it down there because it's cool.' In the winter: `I like it down there because it's warm.' Then I've got one that isn't seasonal: `Go to hell.'"

    After "The Honeymooners," Carney battled a drinking problem for several years. His behavior became erratic while co-starring with Walter Matthau (news) in the Broadway run of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple." He dropped out of the show and spent nearly half a year in a sanitarium.

    His career resumed, and in 1974 he was cast in Paul Mazurksy's "Harry and Tonto" as a 72-year-old widower who travels from New York to Chicago with his pet cat. He stopped drinking during the making of the film.

    When it won him his Oscar, Carney cracked to reporters: "You're looking at an actor whose price has just doubled."

    "Art was, and is one of the most endearing men I have ever met," the late actress Audrey Meadows (the caustic Alice Kramden on "The Honeymooners") wrote in her 1994 memoir "Love, Alice." She called him a "witty and delightful companion who went out of his way to help each new actor find his niche in the often bewildering world of `The Jackie Gleason Show.'"

    Carney was born into an Irish-Catholic family in Mount Vernon, N.Y., on Nov. 4, 1918, and baptized Arthur William Matthew Carney. His father was a newspaperman and publicist.

    After appearing in amateur theatricals and imitating radio personalities, Carney won a job in 1937 traveling with Horace Heidt's dance band, doing his impressions and singing novelty songs.

    "There I was, an 18-year-old mimic rooming with a blind whistler," he told People magazine in 1974. "He would order gin and grapefruit juice for us in the morning, and it was great. ... No responsibilities, no remorse. I was an alcoholic, even then."

    He left Heidt and tried playing standup comedy in nightclubs. He failed. But he won a job at $225 a week imitating Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and other world leaders on a radio show, "Report to the Nation."

    He was drafted into the Army in 1944 and took part in the D-Day landing at Normandy. A piece of shrapnel shattered his right leg. He was left with a leg three-quarters of an inch shorter than the other and a lifelong limp.

    Carney returned to radio as second banana on comedy shows, then ventured into television on "The Morey Amsterdam Show" in 1947. That brought him to the attention of Gleason.

    Among his movie credits: "W.W. and the Dixie Dance Kings," "The Late Show," "House Calls," "Movie Movie," "Sunburn," "Going in Style," "Roadie," "Firestarter," "The Muppets Take Manhattan" and "Last Action Hero."

    Carney married his high school sweetheart, Jean Myers, in 1940. After the marriage broke up, Carney married Barbara Isaac in 1966. They divorced 10 years later, and in 1980 he and his first wife remarried.

    "We always kept in touch because of our three children," he said in a 1980 AP interview. "After our second divorces, it was sort of like the puppy coming home: `Oh, it's you, come on in.' We decided to give it a go again."
     
  5. Paul Drake

    Paul Drake Stunt Coordinator

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    Ed Norton: Helloooooo Ball!!!

    Great line from a very underrated actor. Comedy or drama, he could do it all.

    This leaves Joyce Randolph as the sole surviving "Honeymooner".
     
  6. todd stone

    todd stone Screenwriter

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    goodbye Art [​IMG]
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Man, it's been a rough year with Hollywood greats dieing.
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Notwithstanding the movie connection (the man has an Oscar, after all), I'm going to redirect this to the TV forum, because I think that's where most people would expect to find it. In fact, another thread has been started there, which I'll merge with this one.

    M.
     
  9. Xenia Stathakopoulou

    Xenia Stathakopoulou Cinematographer

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    Whats with all the greats dying this year ?[​IMG]
     
  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    And Harry and Tonto is a beloved, sentimental favorite of mine I would love dearly to see Fox commit to DVD. Sad thing is, Mr. Carney's death may well be what brings the film to disc.
     
  11. Kristian

    Kristian Supporting Actor

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    Ed Norton is still one of the funniest characters in TV history. Rest in peace, Art. [​IMG]

    2003 has been a terribly sad year.
     
  12. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    Seeing the Honeymooners all over cable as a child, I grew to appreciate the Ed Norton character.

    RIP: Art.
     
  13. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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  14. Paul Drake

    Paul Drake Stunt Coordinator

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  15. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    My dad did extra work on the Jackie Gleason show back in the day and told me that Carney would entertain the cast and crew backstage just playing the piano, which he was very adept at. It's a sad day, been a sad year... Art, we will miss you. RIP
     
  16. Ric Bagoly

    Ric Bagoly Producer

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    Bye Norton...[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  17. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    "Hey Ralphie-Boy, mind if I smoke?"
    "I don't care if you burn !"

    Channel 11 in NYC usually plays a Honeymooners marathon on New Years' eve into New Years Day. I think I'll raise a glass to Ed Norton in the wee small hours of '04. [​IMG]
     
  18. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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  19. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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  20. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    I think there was a rumour hereabouts a few weeks ago about a movie remake of the Honeymooners.

    I suggested Ed Norton could play Norton, and now, can I suggest, maybe John Goodman as the Great One?
     

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