Bob Elliott (comedian)
Elliott on Monitor in 1960.
|Born||Robert Brackett Elliott
March 26, 1923
Winchester, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||February 2, 2016
Cundy Harbor, Maine, U.S.
|Cause of death||Throat cancer|
Robert Brackett "Bob" Elliott (March 26, 1923 – February 2, 2016) was an American actor and comedian, one-half of the comedy duo of Bob and Ray. He was the father of comedian/actor Chris Elliott and grandfather of actress and comedian Abby Elliott. He is most remembered by the character of Wally Ballou, a mild-mannered, but indefatigable radio reporter.
Life and career
Elliott was born in Winchester, Massachusetts, the son of Gail Marguarite (née Brackett), a needleworker, and Fred Russell Elliott, who worked in insurance. On radio, he appeared in programs with his long-time partner Ray Goulding. These were in different series and time slots over decades, beginning in the late 1940s at Boston's WHDH radio when the two were first paired for Matinee with Bob and Ray. The team’s ersatz advertisements included exhortations on behalf of the Monongahela Metal Foundry (“Steel ingots cast with the housewife in mind”), Einbinder Flypaper (“The flypaper you’ve gradually grown to trust over the course of three generations”) and Height Watchers International.
Elliot appeared on radio with Garrison Keillor in The American Radio Company of the Air. On television, Elliott and Goulding hosted Bob and Ray show from 1951 to 1953. He appeared on a number of other television programs, including Happy Days; Newhart; and Bob & Ray, Jane, Laraine & Gilda in 1979 (with Goulding, Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman and Gilda Radner); The David Steinberg Show; and Saturday Night Live. In 1982, Elliot was in Author! Author! as Patrick Dicker. He would star in made-for-TV-Movie's such as Between Time and Timbuktu and FDR: A One Man Show. Elliot made television commercials just as Goulding and Elliot had years earlier when they provided the voices for Bert and Harry Piel, the animated spokesmen for a New York brewing company.
In 1970, the duo debuted in The Two and Only on Broadway. Bob and Goulding worked together up until Goulding’s death in 1990. In 1990, Elliot portrayed a bank guard in Quick Change. In 1990, he portrayed "Fred Peterson" in the television series Get a Life, which starred Chris as his son. Four years later, the elder Elliott appeared in the Tim Burton production Cabin Boy, playing Chris' father again. In 2004, he appeared in a skit on the Air America radio program The O'Franken Factor.
Elliott married Jane Underwood in 1943. They divorced in 1953 having no children. Bob and Ray writer Raymond Knight died in 1953. In 1954, he married Knight's widow, Lee Elliott (née Peppers) in 1954. They were married for 58 years until her death in 2012. They had two sons together, Chris Elliott and Bob Elliott Jr., and one daughter, Amy Andersen. They adopted two children, Colony Elliott Santangelo and Shannon Elliott. In 1987, his oldest granddaughter, Abby Elliott, was born. Abby and her younger sister Bridget (nicknamed "Bridey") were raised in Wilton, Connecticut. They had 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. In 1989, Elliott co-authored son Chris's mock autobiography, Daddy's Boy: A Son's Shocking Account of Life with a Famous Father.
Elliott died in Cundy's Harbor, Maine on February 2, 2016, from throat cancer at the age of 92.
|1959||Test Dive Buddies||Bob||Short film directed by Ed Graham Jr.|
|1960||Kid Gloves||Bob||Short film directed by Ed Graham Jr.|
|1971||Cold Turkey||Hugh Upson/David Chetley/Sandy Van Andy||Satirical comedy film directed by Norman Lear.|
|1980||Vengeance||Luke||Directed and written by Bob Bliss.|
|1981||B.C.: A Special Christmas||Peter (voice)||American animated short film directed by Vlad Goetzelman.|
|1982||Author! Author!||Patrick Dicker||American comedy drama film directed by Arthur Hiller and written by Israel Horovitz.|
|1984||Kidco||Policeman #2||Comedy film directed by Ronald F. Maxwell.|
|1987||The Gnomes' Great Adventure||Fred|
|1990||Quick Change||Bank Guard|
|1994||Cabin Boy||William Mayweather|
|1951–53||Bob and Ray||Co-Host||15-minute television series on NBC.|
|1972||Between Time and Timbuktu||Bud Williams, Jr.|
|1976||The David Steinberg Show||Guest||Episode: "Episode #1.1 (Pilot)"|
|1978||Saturday Night Live||Interviewer||Episode: "Elliott Gould/Peter Tosh"|
|1979||Happy Days||Gil Crawford||Episode: "Here Comes the Bride, Again"|
|1981||The Steve Allen Comedy Hour||Guest||Episode: "Episode #1.22"|
|1985||Trapper John, M.D.||Zeke Rainey||Episode: "A False Start"|
|1986||Action Family||The Vendor||
|1987||FDR: A One Man Show||Make-Up Man||
|1988||Coming of Age||Guest||Episode: "Hale to the Chief"|
|Newhart||Bill Loudon||Episode: "I Came, I Saw, I Sat"|
|1990–92||Get a Life||Fred Peterson||Contract role|
|1999||LateLine||Wally Van Horn||Episode: "The Minister of Television"|
|2008||King of the Hill||Edgar Hornsby||Episode: "Square-Footed Monster"|
- Keepnews, Peter; Severo, Richard (February 3, 2016). "Bob Elliott, of Bob and Ray Comedy Fame, Dies at 92". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- McLLellan, Dennis (February 3, 2016). "Bob Elliott, half of legendary radio-comedy team Bob and Ray, dies". The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times Company. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
- Chance, Norman (2011). Who Was Who on TV, Volume 1. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 978-1-4568-2128-9.
- "Fred Russell Elliott". Ancestry.com. Permira and co-investors. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
- Bernstein, Adam (February 3, 2016). "Bob Elliott, master satirist of radio fame, dies at 92". The Washington Post (Nash Holdings LLC). ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Kreps, Daniel (February 3, 2016). "Bob Elliott, 'Bob and Ray' Comedian, Dead at 92". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
- Bennetts, Leslie (January 24, 1982). "Author! Author! Shoots in N.Y., N.Y.". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Chase, Chris (July 2, 1982). "The author of Author! Author!". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Scott, Jay (June 19, 1982). "Author! Author! Just a Mish-Mash of Mush". Globe and Mail (The Woodbridge Company). Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Kroll, Jack (July 5, 1982). "Kingdom of Cute". Newsweek (Newsweek LLC). Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Arnold, Gary (June 19, 1982). "Al Pacino on the Writer's Block". The Washington Post (Nash Holdings LLC). Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Wilson, John (2005). The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 0-446-69334-0.
- Bacle, Ariana (February 3, 2016). "Comedian Bob Elliott dies at 92". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
- "Quick Change". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. July 13, 1990. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-507678-8.
- "Raymond Knight". LA Times. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- The New York Times Staff (April 29, 2012). "ELLIOTT, LEE K". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Zuckerman, Ed (November 11, 2009). "A Professionally Funny Family". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- "Happy Birthday To Wilton’s Abigail 'Abby' Elliott". wilton.dailyvoice.com. June 16, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Elliot, Chris; Elliot, Bob (1989). Daddy's Boy: A Son's Shocking Account of Life with a Famous Father. Dell Publishing. ISBN 978-0385297301.
- Crain, Zac (November 25, 1999). "Handsome Dan, Automator Man". Miami New Times (Voice Media Group). Retrieved February 3, 2016.
Media related to Bob Elliott at Wikimedia Commons
- Bob Elliott at the Internet Movie Database
- Larry Josephson's official Bob and Ray site
- Portland Monthly: Elliott family life in Maine
- New York Times article about the Elliot family
- Bob and Ray shows at the Internet Archive collection "Bob and Ray for the Truly Desperate" https://archive.org/details/bobandraytoaster
- Bob Elliott interview video at the Archive of American Television