Don Ameche

Shop by the Stars aisle featuring Don Ameche (1908-1993) vintage movie cards, still photos, ephemera, and other collectibles.

Born in Kenosha, WI, Ameche's greatest fame probably comes in being synonymous with the telephone—as in, "Get him on the Ameche"—thanks to his starring role in The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939). He was popular in movies during two decades very distant to one another: the 1930s and the 1980s, the latter bringing him an Oscar for his supporting role in Cocoon (1985). It was a long and active career that began after he abandoned law school to take to the stage, a journey that quickly took him from Wisconsin to New York. After a stint in vaudeville, Ameche became a radio star in the early 1930s, riding his voice to a Hollywood contract with Fox. After a bit or two in 1935, Ameche emerged in a dual role in Sins of Man (1936), and followed up as Loretta Young's leading man in Ramona. Besides Young, other frequent co-stars at Twentieth Century-Fox included Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Betty Grable, and Carmen Miranda. Other movies of this period featuring Don Ameche include In Old Chicago (1938), Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938), Down Argentine Way (1940), That Night in Rio (1941), Moon Over Miami (1941), over to Paramount for Midnight (1939), then back to Fox for perhaps his best feature, Ernst Lubitsch's Heaven Can Wait (1943). Ameche was big on radio again throughout the 1940s; then television and Broadway in the 1950s. He was everywhere and always busy, but found a new generation of fans alongside Ralph Bellamy as the Duke brothers in Trading Places (1983). Cocoon followed, as did its sequel, plus Harry and the Hendersons (1987), and a cameo reprising the Dukes in Coming to America (1988). He returned to Broadway to appear in Our Town in 1988, and was then back to TV and movie screens, making his final appearance in Corrina, Corrina (1994), which wrapped about a month before his death.

Birthday: May 31

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