Comic Rodney Dangerfield Dies in L.A. at Age 82

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wdlove, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
  2. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    Thanks for picking up on this wdlove, I hadn't heard yet. Although I was never a huge fan of his comedy myself, it is still a tragic passing of a comedic icon.

    Time moves on...
  3. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    He was great in his time....his best movie was Caddy Shack, though. And on the DVD the directors mentioned that he was chosen specifically because they all thought he was so damn funny. But he had never done a movie before and ended up being the hardest actor to deal with in terms of getting the shots right.

    Regardless, sad day....

  4. maxvamp macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2002
    Somewhere out there
    Mr. Dangerfield, you have my respect

    Rest In Peace

  5. Vector macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2002
    Rodney Dangerfield is one of my favorite comedians. He was hilarious in Caddy Shack, and Back to School was good. He didn't look very good when the friars' club roasted him, and he has been in a coma so it isn't too surprising, but it is sad.
  6. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    Rodney was such a great one line comic, Caddy Shack is still one of my favorite movies. Its good that he finally pasted after really losing his health for the past few years.
  7. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    Some Respect For Rodney.

    As a comic, Dangerfield - clad in a black suit, red tie and white shirt with collar that seemed too tight - convulsed audiences with lines such as: ''When I was born, I was so ugly that the doctor slapped my mother''; ''When I started in show business, I played one club that was so far out my act was reviewed in Field and Stream''; and ''Every time I get in an elevator, the operator says the same thing to me: 'Basement?'''

    In a 1986 interview, he explained the origin of his ''respect'' trademark:

    ''I had this joke: 'I played hide and seek; they wouldn't even look for me.' To make it work better, you look for something to put in front of it: I was so poor, I was so dumb, so this, so that. I thought, 'Now what fits that joke?' Well, 'No one liked me' was all right. But then I thought, a more profound thing would be, 'I get no respect.'''

    He tried it at a New York club, and the joke drew a bigger response than ever. He kept the phrase in the act, and it seemed to establish a bond with his audience. After hearing him perform years later, Jack Benny remarked: ''Me, I get laughs because I'm cheap and 39. Your image goes into the soul of everyone.''

    Flowers were placed on his star on Hollywood Boulevard after word of his death, and the marquee of The Improv, a comedy club where Dangerfield often performed, read ''Rest In Peace Rodney.''

    ''When you saw Rodney on 'The Tonight Show' sitting on the couch with Johnny Carson, you didn't want it to go to commercial,'' comic Bernie Mac said in a statement. ''He always left you wanting more and I'm going to miss him.''

    Dangerfield had a strange career in show business. At 19 he started as a standup comedian. He made only a fair living, traveling a great deal and appearing in rundown joints. Married at 27, he decided he couldn't support a family on his meager earnings.

    He returned to comedy at 42 and began to attract notice. He appeared on the Ed Sullivan show seven times and on ''The Tonight Show'' with Johnny Carson more than 70 times.

    After his first major film role in ''Caddyshack,'' he began starring in his own movies.

    He was born Jacob Cohen on Nov. 22, 1921, on New York's Long Island. Growing up in the borough of Queens, his mother was uncaring and his father was absent. As Philip Roy, the father and his brother toured in vaudeville as a pantomime comedy-juggling act, Roy and Arthur. Young Jacob's parents divorced, and the mother struggled to support her daughter and son.

    The boy helped bring in money by selling ice cream at the beach and working for a grocery store. ''I found myself going to school with kids and then in the afternoon I'd be delivering groceries to their back door,'' he recalled. ''I ended up feeling inferior to everybody.''

    He ingratiated himself to his schoolmates by being funny; at 15 he was writing down jokes and storing them in a duffel bag. When he was 19, he adopted the name Jack Roy and tried out the jokes at a resort in the Catskills, training ground for Danny Kaye, Jerry Lewis, Red Button, Sid Caesar and other comedians. The job paid $12 a week plus room and meals.

    In New York, he drove a laundry and fish truck, taking time off to hunt for work as a comedian. The jobs came slowly, but in time he was averaging $300 a week.

    He married Joyce Indig, a singer he met at a New York club. Both had wearied of the uncertainty of a performer's life.

    ''We wanted to lead a normal life,'' he remarked in a 1986 interview. ''I wanted a house and a picket fence and kids, and the heck with show business. Love is more important, you see. When the show is over, you're alone.''

    The couple settled in Englewood, N.J., had two children, Brian and Melanie, and he worked selling paint and siding. But the idyllic suburban life soured as the pair battled. The couple divorced in 1962, remarried a year later and again divorced.

    In 1993, Dangerfield married Joan Child, a flower importer.

    At age 42, he returned to show business as Jack Roy. He remembered in 1986:

    ''It was like a need. I had to work. I had to tell jokes. I had to write them and tell them. It was like a fix. I had the habit.''

    Even during his domestic years, he continued filling the duffel bag with jokes. He didn't want to break in his new act with any notice, so he asked the owner of New York's Inwood Lounge, George McFadden, not to bill him as Jack Roy. McFadden came up with the absurd name Rodney Dangerfield. It stuck.

    Dangerfield's bookings improved, and he landed television gigs. After his ex-wife died, he took over the responsibility of raising his two children. He decided to quit touring and open a New York nightclub, Dangerfield's, so he could stay close to home. A beer commercial and the Carson shows brought him national attention.

    His film debut came in 1971 with ''The Projectionist,'' which he described as ''the kind of a movie that you went to the location on the subway.'' He did better in 1980 with ''Caddyshack,'' in which he held his own with such comics as Chevy Chase, Ted Knight and Bill Murray.

    Despite his good reviews, Dangerfield claimed he didn't like movies or TV series: ''Too much waiting around, too much memorizing; I need that immediate feedback of people laughing.''

    Still, he continued starring in and sometimes writing films such as ''Easy Money,'' ''Back to School,'' ''Moving,'' ''The Scout,'' ''Ladybugs'' and ''Meet Wally Sparks.'' He turned dramatic as a sadistic father in Oliver Stone's 1994 ''Natural Born Killers.''
    You Said It

    In 1995, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rejected Dangerfield's application for membership. A letter from Roddy McDowall of the actors branch explained that the comedian had failed to execute ''enough of the kinds of roles that allow a performer to demonstrate the mastery of his craft.''

    The ultimate rejection, and Dangerfield played it to the hilt. He had established his own Web site (''I went out and bought an Apple Computer; it had a worm in it''), and his fans used it to express their indignation. The public reaction prompted the academy to reverse itself and offer membership. Dangerfield declined.

    ''They don't even apologize or nothing,'' he said. ''They give no respect at all - pardon the pun - to comedy.''

    AP-NY-10-05-04 21:44 EDT
  8. pyrotoaster macrumors 65816


    Dec 28, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Rodney: You will be missed, with the utmost respect.
  9. 5300cs macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    This is a really sad day :( He was my favorite comedian.

    Rest In Peace
  10. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    rest in peace

    not a big fan of his other movies, loved caddy shack tho
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    He was amazing. I always enjoyed his act.


    He lived a great life. :)
  12. medea macrumors 68030


    Aug 4, 2002
    Madison, Wi
    Aw man, I knew he was doing bad but I didn't know he was dying. Maybe know he'll get the respect he's always wanted.

  13. Hemingray macrumors 68030


    Jan 9, 2002
    Ha ha haaa!
    He will be missed! Very sad.

    My favorite one-liner of his:
  14. wdlove thread starter macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    My prayers go out to his family and friends. May he rest in peace. It is very sad. We are loosing so many of the true professionals. They prided themselves on entertain us.
  15. apple2991 macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2004
    He wasn't funny at all but I am sorry to hear about his death. I hope his family will find the support and strength to make it through their tragedy.
  16. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    He was funnier than a lot of the comics we have today.
  17. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    RIP Rodney. Now you can work to perfect that Triple Lindy.
  18. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    "Hey! I don't get no last respects!!"
    "Is the audience dead here or is it just me?"

    - funny guy...
  19. hcuar macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2004
    I was a little sad when I saw the news last night. :(

    He was just on "Still Standing" on CBS (last Monday Sept 27th). I thought he looked extremely tired / sick. :(
  20. Mr_Ed macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2004
    North and east of Mickeyland
    :( RIP Rodney :(

    He brought me a lot of laughter over the years. I guess his comedy just sort of "clicked" with me. He'll be missed.
  21. 5300cs macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    Some of his best one-liners:

    I could tell that my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster
    and a radio.

    A girl phoned me the other day and said .... "Come on over, there's
    nobody home." I went over. Nobody was home.

    I'm so ugly...My father carries around the picture of the kid who
    came with his wallet.

    During sex, my girlfriend always wants to talk to me. Just the other
    night she called me from a hotel.

    I was such an ugly kid........When I played in the sandbox the cat
    kept covering me up.

    Once when I was lost..... I saw a policeman, and asked him to help me
    find my parents. I said to him .... "Do you think we'll ever find them?
    " He said. "I don't know, kid ... there are so many places they can

    My wife made me join a bridge club. I jump off next Tuesday.

    I'm so ugly...I worked in a pet shop, and people kept asking how big
    I'd get.

    One day as I came home early from work ..... I saw a guy jogging naked.
    I said to the guy .... "Hey buddy, why are you doing that?" He said,
    "Because you came home early."

    I went to see my doctor. "Doctor, every morning when I get up and
    look in the mirror... I feel like throwing up; What's wrong with me?"
    He said..."I don't know but your eyesight is perfect."

    I went to the doctor because I'd swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills.
    My doctor told me to have a few drinks and get some rest.

    Power outage at a department store yesterday, Twenty people were
    trapped on the escalators.

    I like to drive downtown and get a great parking spot, then sit in my
    car and count how many people ask me if I'm leaving.

    I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn't park anywhere
    near the place.

    He will be sorely missed (by me, especially.)
  22. wdlove thread starter macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I agree those are great. He has left quite a legacy.
  23. trebblekicked macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2002
    Chicago, IL, USA

    there was a recent article about him in entertainment weekly that outlined all the rough stuff he'd been through; despite all the emotional and physical health problems thrown at him in recent years, he kept performing right up until the end. you've got to respect that.

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