Red Buttons

Red Buttons

Infobox actor
name = Red Buttons

birthname = Aaron Chwatt
birthdate = birth date|1919|2|5|mf=y
birthplace = city-state|New York City|New York, U.S.
deathdate = Death date and age|2006|07|13|1919|02|05
deathplace = Century City, city-state|Los Angeles|California, U.S.
occupation = Film, television actor
yearsactive = 1944–2005
spouse = Roxanne Arlen (m.1947)
Helayne McNorton (1949-1963)
Alicia Prats (1964-2001)
academyawards = Best Supporting Actor
1957 "Sayonara"
goldenglobeawards = Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
1958 "Sayonara"

Red Buttons (February 5, 1919 – July 13, 2006) was an American comedian and actor.


Early life

Red Buttons was born Aaron Chwatt on February 5, 1919 in New York City to Jewish immigrants.cite encyclopedia | title =Motion Pictures| encyclopedia =Encyclopaedia Judaica| volume=| pages =| publisher =Keter Publishing House| date =1971-1972| id =| accessdate =2006-11-17 ] At sixteen years old, Buttons got a job as an entertaining bellhop at Ryan's Tavern in City Island, Bronx. The combination of his red hair and the shiny buttoned bellhop uniform inspired orchestra leader Charles "Dinty" Moore to call him Red Buttons, the name under which he would later perform.

Later that same summer, Buttons worked on the Borscht Belt; his straight man was Robert Alda. In 1939, Buttons started working for Minsky's Burlesque; in 1941, José Ferrer chose Buttons to appear in a Broadway show "The Admiral Had a Wife". The show was a farce set in Pearl Harbor, and it was due to open on December 8 1941. It never did, as it was deemed inappropriate after the Japanese attack. In later years Buttons would joke that the Japanese only attacked Pearl Harbor to keep him off Broadway.


In September 1942, Buttons at last got his Broadway debut in "Vickie" with Ferrer and Uta Hagen. Later that year, he appeared in the Minsky's show "Wine, Women and Song;" this was the last Burlesque show in New York City history, as the Mayor La Guardia administration closed it down. Buttons was on stage when the show was raided.

1943 saw Buttons in the Army Air Corps. He was chosen to appear in the Broadway show "Winged Victory," as well as appearing in the Darryl F. Zanuck movie version. He later went on to entertain troops in the European Theater of operations in the same unit as Mickey Rooney.

After the war, Buttons continued to do Broadway shows. He also performed at Broadway movie houses with the Big Bands. In 1952, Buttons received his own variety series on television - "The Red Buttons Show" ran for three years, and achieved high levels of success. His catch phrase from the show, "strange things are happening," entered the national vocabulary briefly in the mid-1950s.

His role in "Sayonara" was a dramatic departure from his previous work. In that film, he played Joe Kelly, an American airman stationed in Kobe, Japan during the Korean War, who falls in love with Katsumi, a Japanese woman (played by Miyoshi Umeki), but is barred from marrying her by military rules intended to reassure the local populace that the U.S. presence is temporary. His portrayal of Kelly's calm resolve not to abandon the relationship and touching reassurance of Katsumi impressed audiences and critics alike; both he and Umeki won Academy Awards for the film. After his Oscar-winning role, Buttons performed in numerous feature films, including "Hatari!", "The Longest Day", "Harlow", "The Poseidon Adventure", "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?", "Pete's Dragon", and "18 Again!" with George Burns. Buttons also made many memorable TV appearances on programs including "Little House on the Prairie", "It's Garry Shandling's Show", "ER" and "Roseanne".

He became a nationally recognizable comedian, and his "Never Got A Dinner" sketch was a standard at the Dean Martin roasts for many years.

Number 71 on Comedy Central's list of the "100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time", Buttons received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for television, located at 1651 Vine Street.

Personal life

Buttons was married to actress Roxanne Arlen in 1947, but it soon ended in divorce. His next marriage was to Helayne McNorton, from December 8, 1949 until 1963. His last marriage was to Alicia Pratt, which lasted from January 27 1964 until her death in March 2001. Buttons had two children, daughter Amy Buttons and son Adam Buttons. He was the advertising spokesman for the Century Village, Florida retirement community.

Buttons was an early member of the Synagogue for the Performing Arts, and at the time, Rabbi Jerome Cutler was the Rabbi. [ "The Forward" ]


Buttons died of vascular disease on July 13, 2006 at his home in the Century City area of Los Angeles. Buttons had been ill for some time and was with family members when he died. [ "Comedian Red Buttons dies at 87"] . BBC News. 14 July 2006.]



External links

*imdb name | id=0000999 | name=Red Buttons
*tcmdb name|id=26337|name=Red Buttons
*ibdb name|id=33909|name=Red Buttons
*amg name|2:9969
* [ Actor Red Buttons dead at 87]
* [ A Tribute to Red Buttons]
*Find A Grave|id=14915440

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Red Buttons — (5 de febrero de 1919 13 de julio de 2006) era el nombre artístico del comediante y actor estadounidense Aaron Chwatt. Ganó el Óscar al Mejor Actor de Reparto por su interpretación de Joe Kelly en Sayonara (1957), un rol dramá …   Wikipedia Español

  • Red Buttons — 1978 Red Buttons (richtiger Name Aaron Chwatt; * 5. Februar 1919 in New York City; † 13. Juli 2006 in Los Angeles) war ein US amerikanischer Schauspieler. Buttons ist vor allem als Komiker bekannt geworden. Darüber hinaus schrieb er allerdings… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Red Buttons — Aaron Chwatt …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • BUTTONS, RED — (Aaron Chwatt; 1919–2006), U.S. vaudeville and television comic. Born in New York City, Buttons sang on streetcorners at a young age to earn money. He then sang in the Coopermans Choir for three years, with the renowned cantor Yossele rosenblatt …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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