Harvey Lembeck

Swarthy, squinty, nasally, and comically overconfident, the diminutive Harvey Lembeck was one of the clown princes of post-World-War-II-era army comedy. Himself a veteran of the military, he sublimated his gregarious ... Read more »
Born: 04/15/1923

Filmography

Actor (25)

Dublin Murders 1987 (Movie)

(Actor)

Lily -- Sold Out 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Mother, Juggs and Speed 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

There Is No 13 1973 (Movie)

Older George (Actor)

Hello Down There 1969 (Movie)

Sonarman (Actor)

Fireball 500 1966 (Movie)

Charlie Bigg (Actor)

The Spirit Is Willing 1966 (Movie)

Capt Pederson (Actor)

Beach Blanket Bingo 1965 (Movie)

Eric Von Zipper (Actor)

How to Stuff a Wild Bikini 1965 (Movie)

Eric Von Zipper (Actor)

The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini 1965 (Movie)

Eric Von Zipper (Actor)

Bikini Beach 1964 (Movie)

Eric Von Zipper (Actor)

Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine 1964 (Movie)

Man Chained to Motorcycle (Actor)

Sergeant Deadhead 1964 (Movie)

Pvt McEvoy (Actor)

The Unsinkable Molly Brown 1964 (Movie)

Polak (Actor)

Beach Party 1963 (Movie)

Eric Von Zipper (Actor)

Love With the Proper Stranger 1963 (Movie)

Julio Rossini (Actor)

Pajama Party 1963 (Movie)

Eric Von Zipper (Actor)

A View From the Bridge 1961 (Movie)

Mike (Actor)

Sail a Crooked Ship 1961 (Movie)

Nickels (Actor)

The Last Time I Saw Archie 1961 (Movie)

Sgt Malcolm Greenbriar (Actor)

The Phil Silvers Show 1955 - 1959 (TV Show)

Actor

Between Heaven and Hell 1956 (Movie)

Bernard Meleski (Actor)

The Goldbergs 1955 - 1956 (Tv Show)

Actor

Stalag 17 1953 (Movie)

Harry (Actor)

U.S.S. Tea Kettle 1950 (Movie)

(Actor)

Biography

Swarthy, squinty, nasally, and comically overconfident, the diminutive Harvey Lembeck was one of the clown princes of post-World-War-II-era army comedy. Himself a veteran of the military, he sublimated his gregarious personality into a stint on the Broadway stage, where his performance as impish soldier Harry "Sugar Lips" Shapiro in the powerhouse POW drama "Stalag 17" landed him the same supporting role in Billy Wilder's gripping, like-titled 1953 film adaptation. Having effectively opened the floodgates for a spate of other spirited soldier parts, he went down in the annals of screwball-TV history as Corporal Rocco Barbella, the right-hand man of the scheming, outrageously opportunistic Sergeant Bilko, on the freewheeling sitcom classic "The Phil Silvers Show" ('55-59). The comic star portrayed similar lunkheads on shows such as the short-lived military comedy "Ensign O'Toole," but he never quite struck the same chord as he did in that inimitable Barbella role, prompting him to hang up his uniform in the early '60s. Luckily, all it took for a career revival was a leather jacket; as the delusional biker-gang leader, Eric Von Zipper, he stumbled and bumbled his way through six films in the enormously popular 1960s "beach party" movies headlined by Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Famously, his Von Zipper was the perpetual victim of the series' delightfully absurd "Himalayan Suspender" finger technique, which often left his character in a state of grinning catatonia. Having never retired, he died of a heart attack in 1982 at age 58.

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