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Edgar Bergen

Vintage 8x10 Photograph

1159943-1

$15.00 - Product is currently out of stock.

Edgar John Bergen (February 16, 1903 – September 30, 1978), American actor, comedian and radio performer, best known for his proficiency in ventriloquism and his characters 'Charlie McCarthy' and 'Mortimer Snerd,' vintage 8 x 10 silver print doube-weight photograph credited to Arch Hetherwick, Hollywood.

His first performances were in vaudeville, at which point he legally changed his last name to the easier-to-pronounce "Bergen." He worked in one-reel movie shorts, but his real success was on the radio. He and Charlie were seen at a New York party by Elsa Maxwell for Noël Coward, who recommended them for an engagement at the famous Rainbow Room. It was there that two producers saw Bergen and Charlie perform. They then recommended them for a guest appearance on Rudy Vallée's program. Their initial appearance (December 17, 1936) was so successful that the following year they were given their own show, as part of 'The Chase and Sanborn Hour.' Under various sponsors (and two different networks), they were on the air from May 9, 1937 to July 1, 1956. The popularity of a ventriloquist on radio, when one could see neither the dummies nor his skill, surprised and puzzled many critics, then and now. Even knowing that Bergen provided the voice, listeners perceived Charlie as a genuine person, but only through artwork rather than photos could the character be seen as truly lifelike. Thus, in 1947, Sam Berman caricatured Bergen and McCarthy for the network's glossy promotional book, 'NBC Parade of Stars: As Heard Over Your Favorite NBC Station.'

Verso bears original photographer credit stamping, else blank and clean. In very good condition.

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TAGS: Radio

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