Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Top Cat

Another centenary to celebrate today! For on this day one hundred years ago, a certain Phil Silvers was born...

Best known over here as the wonderfully wily Sergeant Bilko (a childhood favourite), Mr Silvers' career began as a youngster in vaudeville shows, progressing via burlesque to Broadway before moving to Hollywood to feature in numerous movies, from Summer Stock (with Gene Kelly) to It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Carry On (Follow That Camel).

Facts about Phil Silvers:
  • He wrote the lyrics for Nancy (With the Laughing Face), which was a big favourite of Frank Sinatra.
  • Silvers was as compulsive a gambler in real life as his character Bilko, and suffered bouts of depression.
  • Bilko was the inspiration for for the Hanna-Barbera cartoon Top Cat.

A star whose influence is immeasurable, Mr Silvers died in 1985. RIP.

Phil Silvers Show website

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