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Phil Silvers
Birth: May 11, 1911
New York
New York, USA
Death: Nov. 1, 1985

Comedian, Actor. He is best remembered for his classic role of ‘Master Sergeant Ernest G. Bilko’, in the television series, "You'll Never Get Rich," later changed to "The Phil Silvers Show" (1954 to 1959). Born Philip Silversmith in New York City, he started in show business as a child actor in vaudeville, and by 1934, he was working in Minsky's Burlesque, where he trained in comic routines and perfected his timing. Eventually, he was brought to Hollywood, and in a classic Phil Silvers comedy routine, he relates that they didn't know what to do with him, so the Hollywood moguls have him test for a role of vicar in "Pride and Prejudice". Despite roles in such movies as "You're in the Army Now," (1941) with Jimmy Durante, "Tom, Dick and Harry" (1941), and "Four Jills in a Jeep" (1944), he was slow to capture audience interest. He eventually gained some success with the Broadway production of "Top Banana" (1951), where he played ‘Jerry Biffle’, a burlesque comic who becomes a television star. The play won him a Tony award. The play was put to film in 1954, and again, Silvers only did marginally at the box office. He finally hit the perfect role in 1954, as ‘Master Sergeant Ernie Bilko’, con man and gambler extraordinaire, in the Nat Hiken's television show, "You'll Never Get Rich." So popular was this show that the next season, it's name was changed to "The Phil Silvers Show," and it continued on for several seasons, ending in 1959. This show won him two Emmy Awards, and gave him the recognition he sought. Later successes, while not as great as his role of ‘Bilko’, used the Bilko-like carnie, con man persona to win him notice, in such films as "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" (1963), "A Guide for the Married Man" (1967), and "The Boatniks" (1970). Although a stroke had left him with slurred speech, he continued to make films, acting in "The Strongest Man in the World" (1975), "The Chicken Chronicles" (1977), and "The Cheap Detective" (1978). In 1973, he published his autobiography, "This Laugh is on Me." He died of a heart attack in November 1985, in Century City, California. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson) 
 
Burial:
Mount Sinai Memorial Park
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Gardens of Tradition, Lot 1004
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 1238
Phil Silvers
Added by: Old Friend
 
Phil Silvers
Added by: Jim Tipton
 
Phil Silvers
Added by: Jim Tipton
 
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Loved the show and loved the character! Sgt. Bilko, you were the best.
- S-P Allison
 Added: Aug. 3, 2014

- elaine bailey
 Added: Jul. 18, 2014

-Anonymous
 Added: Jul. 7, 2014
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Current ranking for this person: (4.5 after 333 votes)
 

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