Earl Wilson (columnist)
Wilson and comedian Fred Allen (1949)
|Born||Harvey Earl Wilson
May 3, 1907
Rockford, Mercer County
|Died||January 16, 1987
Yonkers, New York
|Occupation||Journalist and author|
Harvey Earl Wilson (May 3, 1907–January 16, 1987), born Harvey Earl Wilson, was an American journalist, gossip columnist and author, perhaps best known for his nationally syndicated newspaper column, It Happened Last Night.
Wilson's column originated from the New York Post and ran from 1942 until 1983. His chronicling of the Broadway theatre scene during the "Golden Age" of show business formed the basis for a book published in 1971, The Show Business Nobody Knows. He signed his columns with the tag line, "That's Earl, brother." His nickname was "Midnight Earl". In later years, the name of his column was changed to Last Night With Earl Wilson. In his final years with the Post, he alternated with the paper's entertainment writer and restaurant critic, Martin Burden, in turning out the column. (Burden, who died in 1993, took over the Last Night column full-time upon Wilson's retirement.)
Wilson is also the author of two controversial books, Show Business Laid Bare, and an unauthorized biography of Frank Sinatra, Sinatra – An Unauthorized Biography. The former book is notable for revealing the extramarital affairs of President John F. Kennedy.
On January 19, 1952, Wilson guest starred on the CBS live variety show, Faye Emerson's Wonderful Town, in which hostess Faye Emerson visited Columbus to accent the kinds of music popular in the Ohio capital city.
Wilson appeared in a few films as himself, notably Copacabana (1947) with Groucho Marx and Carmen Miranda, A Face in the Crowd (1957) with Andy Griffith, College Confidential (1960), and Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) with Paul Lynde. Wilson also hosted the DuMont TV show Stage Entrance from May 1951 to March 1952.
- Riley, Sam G. Biographical Dictionary of American Newspaper Columnists. Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 1995.
- "Jack Kennedy's Other Women." Time, Dec. 29, 1975
- Earl Wilson at the Internet Movie Database
- Actors Cabaret of Eugene News - about Earl Wilson, Jr., with some information on Earl Wilson
- Creative Quotations from Earl Wilson
- Obituary in The New York Times, January 17, 1987.
- Obituary in The New York Times of his wife, Rosemary (published February 26, 1986); the "B.W." (Beautiful Wife) he referred to in his columns