Joe Silver

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Joe Silver
Joseph Silver

(1922-09-28)September 28, 1922
DiedFebruary 27, 1989(1989-02-27) (aged 66)
Years active1942–1989 (his death)
Spouse(s)Chevi Colton, actress, 1950–1989 (his death)
ChildrenChristopher (son), Jennifer (daughter)

Joe Silver (September 28, 1922 – February 27, 1989) was an American stage, television, film and radio actor. His distinctive deep voice was once described as "the lowest voice in show business; so low that when he speaks, he unties your shoelaces."[1]


He was born on September 28, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois. He was raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin and attended Green Bay East High School and the University of Wisconsin.[2][3]

Silver made his Broadway debut in 1942 in a revival of Tobacco Road.[1][4] He was in the original production of Gypsy: A Musical Fable (1959) and was nominated for a supporting actor Tony Award for playing nine different roles in Lenny (1971).[1][4]

In 1947, he made the first of more than 1000 appearances on television,[1][4] as a panelist on What's It Worth? Two years later, he became a member of the cast of the CBS educational children's television show Mr. I Magination. In 1950, he appeared on the short-lived CBS variety show Joey Faye's Frolics. He was later featured on The Red Buttons Show in the 1950s, and was the second "Captain Jet", host of the children's show Space Funnies in the late 1950s. He played the husband of star Lee Grant's character on Fay in the 1975-1976 season.

His film credits include Diary of a Bachelor (1964), Move (1970), Rhinoceros (1974), The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974), Shivers (1975), Rabid (1977), You Light Up My Life (1977), Crash (1978), Boardwalk (1979), Deathtrap (1982), Almost You (1985) and Switching Channels (1988). He also provided the voice of the ox in the 1970 Christmas special The Night the Animals Talked, and as "The Creep" in the horror anthology film Creepshow 2 (1987). He also provided the speaking and singing voices of the Greedy in Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure (1977).

Silver's last performance was in the musical "Legs Diamond" where his courage was noted as he kept performing, night after night, while dying of liver cancer.[citation needed] He died in Manhattan of liver cancer at the age of 66 on February 27, 1989.[1] He was survived by his actress wife Chevi Colton, their son Christopher, their daughter Jennifer, and three grandchildren.[1]


Year Title Role Notes
1964 Diary of a Bachelor Charlie Barrett
1970 Move Oscar
1971 Klute Dr. Spangler Uncredited
1974 Rhinoceros Norman
1974 The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz Farber
1975 Shivers Rollo Linsky
1977 Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure The Greedy Voice
1977 Rabid Murray Cypher
1977 You Light Up My Life Si Robinson
1978 Crash Alvin Jessop TV movie
1979 Boardwalk Leo Rosen
1982 Deathtrap Seymour Starger
1985 Almost You Uncle Stu
1985 The Gig Abe Mitgang
1987 Creepshow 2 The Creep Voice
1987 Magic Sticks Pawnbroker
1987 Mr. Nice Guy Leser Tish
1988 Switching Channels Mordsini Final film role


  1. ^ a b c d e f Mervyn Rothstein (February 28, 1989). "Joe Silver, 66, a Broadway Star And Actor in Film and Television". The New York Times. Joe Silver, an actor who appeared on and Off Broadway, in films and in more than 1,000 television programs, died of a heart attack yesterday at St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan. Mr. Silver, who had been suffering from liver cancer, was 66 years old and lived in Manhattan.
  2. ^ Wilson, Earl (30 June 1967). "23 Years an Actor, Silver Still Loves It". The Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 2. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  3. ^ Wolf, William (12 December 1965). "Silver Finds Gold on Television and Shows Up on Broadway, Too". The Milwaukee Journal (Part 5). p. 5. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Burt A. Folkart (March 2, 1989). "Joe Silver; Actor Had Parts in 1,000 TV Shows in Career of Almost 50 Years". Los Angeles Times.

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