Red Buttons

Actor, Comedian, Singer
Feisty, diminutive, red-haired comedian who regularly played very serious dramatic roles in features. A veteran of New York burlesque and the Catskills comedy circuit, Buttons appeared as a pilot in training in the ... Read more »
Born: 02/04/1919 in Bronx, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (90)

ER 1995 - 1996, 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Playboy's 50th Anniversary Celebration 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

History Vs. Hollywood 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Philly 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Presidio Med 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Street Time 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Early Edition 1996 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Gypsy Rose Lee: Naked Ambition 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The Story of Us 1999 (Movie)

Arnie (Actor)

Phil Silvers: Top Banana 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

R.L. Stine's Ghosts of Fear Street 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The 70th Annual Academy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Cosby 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Actor

Las Vegas 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Itzhak Perlman: In the Fiddler's House 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The 49th Annual Tony Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

It Could Happen to You 1994 (Movie)

Zakuto (Actor)

Roseanne 1993 - 1994 (Tv Show)

Actor

Tom Arnold: The Naked Truth 2 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

George Burns' 95th Birthday Party 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The Cosby Show 1991 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 11th Annual ACE Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The Ambulance 1990 (Movie)

Elias (Actor)

Jackie Gleason: The Great One 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

18 Again 1988 (Movie)

Charlie (Actor)

Las Vegas: An All Star 75th Anniversary 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1st Annual American Comedy Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The 38th Annual Emmy Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Alice in Wonderland 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Dom DeLuise and Friends, Part 4 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Funny 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

George Burns' 90th Birthday Special 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

NBC's 60th Anniversary Celebration 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The World's Funniest Commercial Goofs 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Night of 100 Stars II 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Power 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Chomps 1979 (Movie)

Bracken (Actor)

Dean Martin's Celebrity Roast 1973 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

When Time Ran Out 1979 (Movie)

Francis Fendly (Actor)

Vega$ 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Movie Movie 1977 (Movie)

Peanuts (Actor)

Pete's Dragon 1977 (Movie)

Hoagy (Actor)

The Sunshine Boys 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Flannery and Quilt 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Gable and Lombard 1976 (Movie)

Ivan Cooper (Actor)

Viva Knievel! 1976 (Movie)

Ben Andrews (Actor)

Vaudeville 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Alexander 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

The Bob Hope Show (02/08/73) 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

The Poseidon Adventure 1972 (Movie)

James Martin (Actor)

Breakout 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

George M! 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

Who Killed Mary Whats'ername? 1970 (Movie)

Mickey (Actor)

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? 1969 (Movie)

Sailor (Actor)

Murder At NBC 1966 - 1967 (TV Show)

Actor

Stagecoach 1966 (Movie)

Mr Peacock (Actor)

Harlow 1965 (Movie)

Arthur Landau (Actor)

Up From the Beach 1964 (Movie)

Pfc Harry Devine (Actor)

A Ticklish Affair 1963 (Movie)

Flight Officer Simon Shelley (Actor)

Your Cheatin' Heart 1963 (Movie)

Shorty Younger (Actor)

Five Weeks in a Balloon 1962 (Movie)

Donald O'Shay (Actor)

Gay Purr-ee 1961 (Movie)

(Voice)

Hatari! 1961 (Movie)

Pockets (Actor)

One, Two, Three 1961 (Movie)

MP Sergeant (Actor)

The Longest Day 1961 (Movie)

Private Steele (Actor)

Hansel and Gretel 1957 - 1958 (TV Show)

Actor

Imitation General 1958 (Movie)

Corporal Chan Derby (Actor)

Sayonara 1957 (Movie)

Kelly (Actor)

Backstory (TV Show)

Actor

Leave 'Em Laughing (TV Show)

Actor

Reunion at Fairborough (TV Show)

Actor

Side Show (TV Show)

Actor

Telethon (TV Show)

Actor

The Dream Merchants (TV Show)

Actor

The Love Boat (TV Show)

Actor

The Users (TV Show)

Actor

Winged Victory (Movie)

Whitey (Actor)

Biography

Feisty, diminutive, red-haired comedian who regularly played very serious dramatic roles in features. A veteran of New York burlesque and the Catskills comedy circuit, Buttons appeared as a pilot in training in the moral-boosting stage drama "Winged Victory", and recreated the role soon thereafter in the 1944 film version. He played on Broadway after WWII and enjoyed tremendous popularity during the first season of TV's "The Red Buttons Show" (1952-55). Part variety show, part sitcom, the program gave full vent to Buttons' manic, fast-talking, knockabout style. One of Buttons' oft-repeated gestures, placing his hands together in a desperate, somewhat prayerful manner, was on regular display in the show, and children everywhere mimicked the "Ho Ho! He He! Ha Ha! Strange things are happening!" theme song. His gallery of characters, meanwhile, including the Sad Sack; the Kupke Kid, a child; Rocky, a boxer; and the bumbling Keeglefarven, played up the at-once argumentative and long-suffering aspects of his persona.

Relationships

Michael Chwatt

Father

Sophie Chwatt

Mother

Alicia Buttons

Wife
married on January 27, 1964 separated arrested in August 1999 and charged with possession of marijuana and crack cocaine died in March 2001

Amy Buttons

Daughter
married Sean Morgress in summer 1999

Helayne McNorton

Wife
married on December 8, 1949 divorced in 1963

EDUCATION

Evander Childs High School

Bronx , New York

Milestones

2005

Emmy nominated guest-starring role on the drama series "ER" (NBC)

2002

Had regular role on the Showtime series "Street Time"

1999

Made cameo appearance in the Rob Reiner-directed comedy-drama "The Story of Us"

1994

Appeared in the feature "It Could Happen to You"

1988

Returned to feature films after an eight-year absence in "18 Again!"

1987

Played recurring role of Al Baker on the CBS primetime soap, "Knot's Landing"

1985

Played the White Rabbit on the CBS musical miniseries, "Alice in Wonderland"

1966

Starred in the title role of the ABC sitcom, "The Double Life of Henry Phyfe"; also performed title theme along with series co-star Fred Clark

1952

Starred in the CBS sketch comedy and variety show, "The Red Buttons Show"

1943

Made feature film debut in "Winged Victory"

1941

Made Broadway acting debut in a supporting role in "Vickie"

1935

Worked as a combination bellhop and singer at a tavern in the Bronx at age 16; supposedly acquired the nickname "Red Buttons" because of his uniform

1931

Won an amateur night entertainment contest at age 12 (date approximate)

Served during WWII; acted onstage in "Winged Victory"

"The Red Buttons Show" moved to NBC; format revamped into more of a sitcom style

Performed in the Catskills at resorts along the famous "Borscht Belt"; also played in burlesque at Minsky's, among other places

Was a regular on the NBC comic tribute series, "Dean Martin's Celebrity Roast"

Acted on Broadway after WWII in "Barefoot Boy with Cheek"

Bonus Trivia

.

Buttons serves as a Scribe Emeritus for the Friars Club

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