#127
Most Popular
Boost

Birthday
Birthplace
New York City,
Birth Sign
Capricorn
Birthday
Birthplace
New York City,

Alan King was an American Jewish actor and comedian who was well-known for his razor-sharp wit and angry comedic rants. His story reads like a typical American fairy tale, a rags to riches fable—he rose from poverty to become one of the most popular and respected comedians of his generation. He was a devout Jew, and comedian Jerry Stiller dubbed him a “Jewish Will Rogers.” He frequently made light of everyday annoyances and social issues, which helped him connect with his audience and endear him to his fans. He developed a conversational style of delivery and addressed his audience directly. King was “in touch with what was happening in the world,” as Jerry Stiller put it, “which is what made him so funny.” The comedian performed as an opener for a number of celebrities, including Tony Martin, Judy Garland, and Nat King Cole. King appeared on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ several times, which increased his popularity among the general public. He was also a gifted actor who appeared in a number of films, both in comedic and serious roles. As a theatre artist, he appeared in a number of theatrical productions, as well as producing a number of them. Apart from show business, King had a strong interest in politics and became an activist for John and Robert F. Kennedy.

Childhood & Adolescence

Alan King was the youngest of eight children born to Russian immigrants Minnie and Bernard Kniberg in New York. Irwin Alan Kniberg was his given name.

As a child, he performed street shows to earn money. At the age of 15, he dropped out of high school to pursue a career in comedy.

Career of Alan

He landed a gig as a stand-up comic at the Hotel Gradus in the Catskills. He was fired, however, for mocking the hotel’s owner during a performance. He later relocated to Canada, where he worked in a burlesque house and began fighting professionally as a boxer.

He was quite successful in his boxing career, winning a number of bouts, but he retired following his first defeat. He took on the surname “King” of the boxer who defeated him and became known as Alan King from then on.

He met Milton Merle, the legendary comedian, while working as a doorman in a nightclub. Merle recognized his abilities and took on the role of mentor. Additionally, King was influenced by comedian Danny Thomas.

In the 1950’s, he established himself as a highly successful nightclub comic, opening for celebrities such as Nat King Cole, Tony Martin, and Lena Horne. King was offered a small role in the film ‘Hit the Deck’ on Martin’s recommendation (1955).

He starred in a number of films over the next few years, including ‘Miracle in the Rain’ (1956), ‘The Girl He Left Behind’ (1956), and ‘The Helen Morgan Story’ (1956). (1957).

He was relatively inactive in film during the 1960’s and 1970’s, but returned with a vengeance during the 1980’s. He starred in a number of films, including ‘I, the Jury’ (1982), ‘Lovesick’ (1983), ‘Cat’s Eye’ (1985), ‘Memories of Me’ (1988), and ‘A Love Story’ (1988). (1989).

After starring in a series of comedic films, King became dissatisfied with being typecast as a comedian and desired to play serious roles. In ‘Night and the City’ (1992) and ‘Casino,’ he portrayed a gangster (1995).

Prior to his death in May 2004, he starred in three films in the new millennium: ‘Rush Hour 2’ (2001), ‘Sunshine State’ (2002), and ‘Mind the Gap’ (2004).

Additionally, he is the author of five books, including ‘Anyone Who Owns a Home Deserves It’ and ‘Help! I Am an Inmate in a Chinese Bakery.’

Significant Works of Alan

He co-starred with Ali MacGraw in the 1980 American comedy film ‘Just Tell Me What You Want.’ He portrayed a married, wealthy, and vulgar head of a company who is involved in a stormy yet amusing relationship with his mistress.

He starred in the 1988 film ‘Memories of Me’ as Abe, the ‘King of the Hollywood extras. The film dealt with the strained relationship between a father and son.

Honors and Commendations

He was the first recipient of The National Foundation for Jewish Culture’s award for American Jewish Humor (1988), which serves as the leading advocate for Jewish cultural life and creativity in the United States. Later, the award was renamed in his honor.

Personal History and Legacies

Alan King and Jeanette Sprung were married in 1947 and had three children. At the time of his death, they had been married for 57 years.

He had a lifelong passion for charitable work. He founded Jerusalem’s Alan King Medical Center and the ‘Laugh Well’ program, which sends comedians to hospitals to perform for patients.

He suffered from oral as well as lung cancer in his later years. He was assassinated on May 9, 2004.

Estimated Net Worth

Alan King net worth: Alan King was an American actor and comedian who had a net worth equal to $10 million at the time of his death in 2004 (after adjusting for inflation).

Alan King was born in New York City, New York in December 1927 and passed away in May 2004. He was a well known Jewish comedian and also wrote books, produced films, and starred in plays.

Trivia

He presided over a portion of President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural party as the emcee. He formed a musical group called ‘Earl Knight and His Musical Knights’ as a teenager.