Jack Carter (comedian)

Jack Carter

Carter in 1949
Born Jack Chakrin [1]
(1922-06-24)June 24, 1922
New York, New York, U.S.
Died June 28, 2015(2015-06-28) (aged 93)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Cause of death Respiratory failure
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • host
  • voice actor
Years active 1942–2015
Religion Jewish
Spouse(s) Paula Stewart (1961–1970; divorced)
Roxanne Stone (1971–2015; his death)
Children 2 sons, 2 daughters

Jack Chakrin (June 24, 1922 – June 28, 2015), known by his stage name Jack Carter, was an American comedian, actor and television presenter.[1] Brooklyn-born Carter had a long-running comedy act similar to fellow rapid-paced contemporaries Milton Berle and Morey Amsterdam.[2]

Life and career

Carter was born in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York, in 1922[3] to a Jewish family. Carter served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. He hosted an early television variety program called Cavalcade of Stars on the DuMont Network. He was lured to NBC to host his own program titled The Jack Carter Show. Carter recommended Jackie Gleason take his place as host of Cavalcade of Stars. The Jack Carter Show appeared under the banner of the Saturday Night Revue, NBC's two-and-a-half-hour Saturday night programming slot. Carter hosted his show for one hour each week followed by the 90-minute Your Show of Shows starring Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, and Howard Morris. Carter remained friends with Sid Caesar his entire life and delivered the eulogy at his funeral.[4][5]

His only major Broadway appearance was opposite Sammy Davis, Jr. in the 1956 musical Mr. Wonderful. He had previously replaced Phil Silvers in the Broadway show Top Banana. He was a frequent guest on The Ed Sullivan Show during the 1960s and early 1970s, and was known for his impression of Ed Sullivan. He appeared as himself (along with his then-wife Paula Stewart) in the comedy series The Joey Bishop Show. In the late 1960s, he was the host of a game-show pilot called Second Guessers. The pilot did not sell. He was also a frequent panelist on the television game show Match Game during the 1973–1974 season and again during the early 1980s. In 1975, he appeared as a guest star on the quiz show $10,000 Pyramid with contestant Liz Hogan Schultz, and appeared as the ill-fated mayor in the cult horror film Alligator in 1980.[5]

  Starting in the 1970s 

he was on over 10 Dean Martin Roasts for some popular television stars & sports personalities.

He made appearances on many television series, including Diagnosis: Unknown, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Rockford Files, The Wild Wild West, Tales of Tomorrow, The Kallikaks, The Ren and Stimpy Show, 7th Heaven, The Road West, Sanford and Son, Tattletales, Monk, Rules of Engagement, ICarly, Desperate Housewives, and Shameless. His last round of work included a cameo on New Girl and a voice on Family Guy. He was a guest on Norm Macdonald's video podcast, Norm Macdonald Live.[5]

On Sunday, May 10, 2009 at approximately 11 p.m., Carter, his wife Roxanne, and Toni Murray, the late comedian Jan Murray's widow, were standing on the sidewalk near Pantages Theater waiting for Roxanne, to pull their car up to pick them up. As Roxanne pulled up, she saw another car strike her husband. The driver, an unlicensed, uninsured female teen valet parker, working for Grant Parking Inc. (near the Pantages Theatre), backed up and hit Toni Murray who was behind the vehicle. The teen driver then pulled forward and dragged Murray under the car. The accident occurred near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Argyle Avenue. The collision caused severe personal injuries to Carter, resulting in suffered head injuries and a lacerated leg on the same limb in which he recently had knee and hip surgery. Toni Murray, 86, who suffered a broken back, broken pelvis, internal bleeding and punctured lungs, died six weeks later on June 28, as a result of her injuries sustained in the car crash. The Carters later filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles County Superior Court (Stanley Mosk Courthouse), against Grant Parking Inc., of Los Angeles, Ca. Despite having to rely on a cane and a walker for the rest of his life, Carter continued to act occasionally.

Carter died on June 28, 2015, at his home in Beverly Hills, California, of respiratory failure.[6] He was 93.

See also

Selected filmography


  1. 1 2 Gertner, Richard (1982). International television almanac. Quigley Publishing Company. pp. 44–. ISBN 9780900610271. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
  2. Jack Carter Net Worth: Late Comedian's Beverly Hills Mansion Listed For $5.825M
  3. Hevesi, Dennis (June 29, 2015). "Jack Carter, Comedian Who Brought His Rapid-Fire Delivery to TV, Dies at 93". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-06-30.
  4. Carter, Jack (August 4, 2014). "Norm Macdonald Live" (Interview). Interview with Norm Macdonald. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 Jack Carter at the Internet Movie Database
  6. "Comedian Jack Carter Dead at 93". Variety. June 29, 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-30.
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