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Jack Benny and wife
Alternative Title
Los Angeles Herald Examiner Photo Collection
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
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Title supplied by cataloger.
Jack Benny was born Benjamin Kubelsky on February 14, 1894 in Chicago, Illinois. He worked in vaudeville, radio and television, becoming one of the most popular comedians of his time. Benny served in the Navy during World War I and began entertaining fellow sailors playing the violin, but soon moved into standup comedy. He signed with MGM in 1929 but was let go after a few films. In 1932 he appeared on the Ed Sullivan radio show and parlayed that into a show of his own. From 1932 to 1965 The Jack Benny Program was one of the most popular shows in the country. First on radio and then television, Benny would entertain America with his character's trademark stinginess, pettiness, bad violin playing, vanity and unwillingness to age past 39 years. By all accounts, these traits were the opposite of Benny in real-life. He was an accomplished violin player, a generous boss, and a philanthropist. In 1927 he married Sadie Marks. Using the stage name Mary Livingstone, she worked with Benny on his radio and television shows. They adopted one child. After the end of his television program Benny performed stand-up comedy and appeared in TV shows and specials. He was active almost until his death, of pancreatic cancer, on December 26, 1974.; Mary Livingstone was born Sadie Marks on June 23, 1906 in Seattle, Washington. After marrying Jack Benny in 1927, she worked with him in vaudeville. She wasn't particularly interested in being a performer, but after a performance on his radio show, she became a regular. She became an important part of the show and audiences loved her. Her comic timing nearly matched her husband's. She was addressed as Mary Livingstone, her character on the show, so often in public, that she legally changed her name. When the show moved to television, she made a few appearances, but extreme stage fright caused her to retire altogether. She and Benny adopted a daughter, Joan in 1934. In his will, Benny arranged for her to receive a single red rose every day for the rest of her life. She died on June 30, 1983.
Photograph caption dated February 16, 1957 reads "Jack Benny and wife Mary Livingstone, and Adm. J.B. Pearson Jr., of the Naval Bureau of Aeronautics at the Friars' Club $100-a-plate dinner for Benny's Birthday and the Heart Fund." Livingstone is wearing a short fur and Pearson in his naval uniform. The event was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
1 photographic print :b&w ;21 x 26 cm.
Photographic prints
Herald Examiner Collection
HE box 1155
Benny, Jack,--1894-1974
Livingstone, Mary
United States.--Navy
Friars Club of California (Beverly Hills, Calif.)
Beverly Hilton Hotel (Beverly Hills, Calif.)
Comedians--United States
Radio personalities--United States
Violinists--United States
Admirals--United States
Actors--United States
Actresses--United States
Men--California--Beverly Hills
Couples--California--Beverly Hills
Women--California--Beverly Hills
Fur coats
Beverly Hills (Calif.)
Group portraits
Portrait photographs
Los Angeles Evening Herald Express photographs
Herald-Examiner Collection photographs

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