Marty Allen (1960)
|Birth name||Morton David Alpern|
March 23, 1922 |
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Medium||Stand-up, television and film acting|
Marty Allen (born Morton David Alpern; March 23, 1922) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and veteran of World War II. He has worked as a comedy headliner in night clubs and as a dramatic actor in TV roles.
World War II
He then joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was stationed in Italy where he attained the rank of sergeant and earned a Soldier's Medal for his bravery during a fire which happened while a plane was being refueled. His heroism also earned him a full-dress parade.
After the war
During the early to the mid-1950s, Allen worked as an opening act for stars such as Sarah Vaughan, Eydie Gorme, and Nat King Cole with his first comedy partner, Mitch DeWood. They also worked many clubs, including the famous Copacabana. The team broke up and they went their separate ways.
He then became part of the comedy team of Allen & Rossi with Steve Rossi, which resulted in a string of hit comedy albums, 44 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show (including the famous Beatles appearance in February 1964), and the film The Last of the Secret Agents? (1966). They worked together from 1957 to 1968, parted ways amicably, and reunited for shows in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.
He eventually began performing dramatic roles. His debut as a serious actor came on The Big Valley TV series as the hapless Waldo Diefendorfer. Allen appeared in several other dramatic productions, including Mister Jerico, The Ballad of Billie Blue and segment of Rod Serling's Night Gallery.
Throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s, Allen made hundreds of television appearances, becoming a regular on Hollywood Squares. He appeared on Circus of the Stars, in a cameo on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, on game shows such as Password, and in ten made-for-television movies. He also appeared in theatrical films such as The Great Waltz (1972), Harrad Summer (1974) and A Whale of a Tale (1976).
During the 1980s and through to the present, Allen and his wife Karon Kate Blackwell, an accomplished singer-songwriter, teamed up to perform their musical comedy act to audiences around the country. In 2007, the duo began performing at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and went on to perform at the Southpoint Casino, at Palace Station, and on cruise ships. In 2015, Allen and Blackwell continued to perform in venues around the country to overflow crowds, most recently at the Rampart Casino  and the Downtown Grand in Las Vegas.
In 1968 he made a "Hello Dere" tour of military hospitals in the United States (a tour named after a catch phrase he popularized). He repeated the tour annually until 1972. During the tours, he talked with and entertain wounded soldiers who had just returned from Vietnam. He is also involved in a number of charitable causes including the American Cancer Society, The Heart Fund, The March of Dimes, Fight for Sight, Cerebral Palsy, and is on the board of the Epilepsy Foundation.
- Hecht, Steve (August 27, 2009). "Comedian Marty Allen part of Allderdice's first hall class". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
- ""Both Sides of Marty Allen" The Jewish Reporter, May 22, 2009" (PDF). www.JewishLasVegas.com. May 2009. p. 30. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
- "Broadway Database Marty Allen". ibdb.com. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Allmovie Database". allmovie.com. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "IMDB Database". imdb.com. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- An Interview with Marty Allen, May 2011
- Interview with Marty Allen – The Spectrum, March 2016