Funnyman Jack Carter, who was a familiar presence on ’50s and ’60s variety shows like “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “Laugh-In”, has died of respiratory failure. He was 93.
The “Shameless” star passed away on June 28, at his home in Beverly Hills, said The Hollywood Reporter.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Roxanne, sons Michael Carter and Chase Carter, daughter Wendy Carter and grandchildren Jake and Ava.
During a long career that began shortly after World War II and ranged from Broadway through the early days of television to, most recently, appearances on Showtime’s “Shameless”, Carter served as a TV host, took on both comedic and dramatic roles, frequently showed up as a game show panelist and also directed.
He began flexing his comic muscles while still in his teens, appearing as a mimic on “The Major Bowes Amateur Hour” radio show.
He served in the army in World War II, then found himself on Broadway in “Call Me Mister”.
Carter spent two years hosting the television variety program “Cavalcade of Stars”, which led to his own show, “The Jack Carter Show” that lasted three years and was part of the Saturday Night Review.
The actor made more than 50 appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and also guested on shows such as “The Dean Martin Show”, “The Andy Williams Show”, “The Jackie Gleason Show”, “Laugh-In” and numerous “Bob Hope Comedy Specials”.
He was a frequent panelist on “Match Game” through the ’70s and ’80s as well as a guest star on “The $10,000 Pyramid”.
Carter took on dramatic roles as well, appearing in The “Last Hurrah” with Carroll O’Connor, “The Sex Symbol” with Connie Stevens and the “Dr Kildare” series.
He received a Daytime Emmy nomination for The Girl Who Couldn’t Lose, which aired in 1972 on ABC Afternoon Playbreak.
His TV credits encompass everything from “The Rockford Files”, “3rd Rock From the Sun” and “Desperate Housewives”. He appeared in movies such as “Viva Las Vegas”, “Hustle” and “History of the World, Part I”.
He worked as a director on TV shows such as Lucille Ball’s “Here’s Lucy”, as well as in theatre, directing productions of A Thousand Clowns and Mouth-Trap.
His Broadway acting credits include “Mr Wonderful” and “Top Banana”. He hosted the first televised Tony Awards in 1956.