Arthur William Matthew Carney, popularly known as Art Carney, was an American actor who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture in 1974 for his portrayal in the film “Harry and Tonto.” His role as Ed Norton in the sitcom ‘The Honeymooners,’ with Jackie Gleason, is still remembered by viewers. Art Carney was interested in mimicry and acting since he was a child and followed it as a vocation after completing his education. He began his career working on radio shows, including the popular ‘Pot o’ Gold.’ He served in the United States Army during WWII. He was injured in the Battle of Normandy and spent nine months in the hospital. He acted in films and appeared on Broadway in addition to appearing in television shows and guest appearances on numerous series. He was noted for his impeccable comic timing, and despite never considering himself a comedian, he was regarded as one of the best comedian actors of his day. He won the Academy Award, the Golden Globe Award, and the Pasinetti Award for his achievements.
Childhood and Adolescence
Arthur William Matthew Carney was born in Mount Vernon, New York, on November 4, 1918. He was the youngest of Edward Michael Carney’s six boys and Helen Farrell Carney’s six daughters. Jack, Ned, Robert, Fred, and Phil were his older brothers’ names.
He enjoyed impersonations as a child and won several school talent competitions. In 1936, he graduated from Mount Vernon’s A. B. Davis High School. He dropped out of high school and did not pursue any more formal schooling.
Art Carney’s Career
Soon after finishing high school, he went to work for the Horace Heidt orchestra, where he spent three years performing songs and impersonations.
He also helped announce the Heidt’s radio show, “Pot O’ Gold.” He was later cast in a supporting role in the orchestra’s 1941 film “Pot O’ Gold.” In the same year, he worked as a comic for the big band remote team’s series “Matinee at Meadowbrook.”
After failing in vaudeville and nightclubs, he went on to work on the radio in series like ‘Man Behind the Gun.’ He could play characters that required dialects. His skill won him a gig as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s voice impersonator for the CBS television network. ‘Land of the Lost and ‘Joe and Ethel Turp’ were two other radio programs on which he worked in the early 1940s (1943).
His career was cut short when he enlisted in the United States Army as an infantryman and machine gun crewman during World War II. He was wounded by shrapnel while serving with the 28th Infantry Division during the Battle of Normandy, leaving him with a lifelong limp.
He appeared on ‘The Henry Morgan Show’ between 1946 and 1947. In ‘The March of Time,’ he impersonated Franklin D. Roosevelt, and in ‘Living 1948,’ he impersonated Dwight D. Eisenhower.
He played Montague’s father on the sitcom ‘The Magnificent Montague’ from 1950 to 1951. He also appeared on ‘Casey,’ ‘Crime Photographer,’ and ‘Gang Busters,’ among other radio shows.
He starred in the television comedy series ‘Cavalcade of Stars in 1950, in which he played a variety of roles. He was a regular on ‘Henry Morgan’s Great Talent Hunt’ by 1951.
He rose to popularity and acclaim for his role as sewage worker Ed Norton in the comic spoof ‘The Honeymooners.’ The sketch was such a hit that it was repeated in 1955 as a situational comedy series.
He appeared in several television drama series during the 1950s, including ‘Studio One,’ ‘Omnibus,’ and ‘The Kraft Television Theater.’
In 1957, he played a Jew in the film ‘The Fabulous Irishman,’ and in 1960, he appeared in the films ‘Our Town’ and “Call Me Back.”
‘The Martha Raye Show’ (1955-1956), ‘The Dinah Shore Chevy Show,’ and ‘What’s My Line?’ were among the many shows on which he appeared as a guest. Between 1959 and 1960, he hosted his own NBC variety show.
In 1958, he appeared in ‘Art Carney Meets Peter and the Wolf,’ a children’s show produced in partnership with ABC. In 1960, he also appeared in ‘The Night of the Meek,’ a Christmas episode of The Twilight Zone. He made a guest appearance in an episode of the adventure and drama series ‘Mr. Broadway’ a few years later.
‘The Rope Dancers’ (1957), in which he co-starred with Siobhan McKenna, ‘Take Her, She’s Mine’ (1961), and ‘Lovers’ (1962) were among his Broadway appearances (1968). In the Neil Simon play ‘The Odd Couple,’ he played Felix Unger, an obsessively neat freak.
He appeared on a few episodes of ‘The Dean Martin Show’ in the early 1970s, singing and dancing. In 1974, he received critical acclaim for his role as a widower in the film ‘Harry and Toronto.’
In films, he played a range of characters. ‘W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings’ (1975), ‘The Late Show’ (1977), ‘House Calls’ (1978), ‘Going in Style’ (1979), ‘The Naked Face’ (1984), and ‘Firestarter’ are some of the well-known films in which he appeared (1984).
‘Death Scream’ (1975), ‘Fighting Back: The Rocky Bleier Story’ (1980), ‘St. Helens (1981), ‘Terrible Joe Moran’ (1984), ‘The Night They Saved Christmas’ (1984), and ‘Where Pigeons Go to Die’ (1984) were among his many television films (1990).
He ended his acting career in the final years of the 1980s. He did, however, make a brief appearance in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comedy fantasy action picture ‘Last Action Hero’ in 1993.
Important Works of Art Carney was an accomplished actor who worked in theater, radio, and feature films. His most well-known roles include Ed Norton in the groundbreaking television sitcom “The Honeymooners” and an elderly widower in the film “Harry and Toronto.”
Achievements and Awards
In 1974, Art Carney won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in ‘Harry and Tonto.’ He also won the 1974 Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his performance.
For ‘The Late Show,’ he won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor in 1977.
In 1979, he won the Pasinetti Award for Best Actor for his performance in the film “Going in Style.”
At 6627 Hollywood Boulevard, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 2004, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame after his death.
Personal History and Legacy
In 1940, he married Jean Myers, and the couple had three children: Eileen (born in 1942), Brian (born in 1946), and Paul (born in 1950). (born in 1952). The couple divorced in 1965 but later reconnected and married in 1980.
In 1966, he married Barbara Isaac, and they were married until 1977.
Art Carney died at his home in Westbrook, Connecticut, on November 9, 2003. At the time of his death, he was 85 years old.
Estimated Net worth
Art Carney was an actor from the United States with a net worth of $16 million at the time of his death (after adjusting for inflation). Art Carney was born in November 1918 in Mount Vernon, New York, and died in November 2003.