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 Harry Einstein

Harry Einstein

Birth
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 24 Nov 1958 (aged 54)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial East Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Chapel Mausoleum, Corridor of Eternal Life, C-148
Memorial ID 5179 · View Source
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Entertainer. Born in Boston, he started out in vaudeville and nightclubs as a dialect comedian, often billed as Harry Parke. During the 1930s he was known to millions of radio listeners as Parkyakarkus, a florid Greek lunch counter proprietor who delighted in mangling the English language. Einstein created the character for "The Eddie Cantor Show" and parlayed it into a regular spot on Al Jolson's radio program (1936 to 1939). At one point he tried to get his name legally changed to Parkyakarkus, claiming nobody knew who he was otherwise, but a New York court ruled against him. He made a handful of films, among them "Strike Me Pink" (1936), "She's Got Everything" (1938), "Sweethearts of the USA" (1944), and "Out of This World" (1945). A heart ailment and spinal surgery restricted him to gag writing for the last ten years of his life. His only performing outlets were occasional Friars Club dinners and his last public appearance was at a roast honoring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. After Einstein had skillfully skewered his colleagues ("Oscar Levant couldn't make it here tonight - he's feeling good!"), host Art Linkletter exclaimed, "Why isn't this man on television?" "Yeah, why aren't I?" Einstein rejoined, then slumped into the arms of Milton Berle. He was pronounced dead at the scene from a massive coronary. Einstein's second wife was actress Thelma Leeds, and he was the father of actor-writer-director Albert Brooks and comedian Bob Einstein (Super Dave Osborne).

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 18 Apr 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5179
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Harry Einstein (6 May 1904–24 Nov 1958), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5179, citing Home of Peace Memorial Park, East Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .