Alan King - Film & Theater Personalities, Timeline and Family

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Alan King's Personal Details

Alan King was an American actor and comedian known for his angry humorous rants

InformationDetail
BirthdayDecember 26, 1927
Died onMay 9, 2004
NationalityAmerican
FamousJewish Comedians, Film & Theater Personalities, Actors
SpousesJeanette Sprung
Childrens Andrew King, Elainie Ray, Robert King
Birth PlaceNew York City
GenderMale
Fatherbernard kniberg
MotherMinnie Kniberg
Sun SignCapricorn
Born inNew York City
Famous asAmerican actor
Died at Age76

// Famous Film & Theater Personalities

Alan King's photo

Who is Alan King?

Alan King was a Jewish American actor and comedian, known for his sharp wit and angry humorous rants. His story reads like a typical American dream, a rags to riches fable—he went from being a poor high school dropout to become one of the most well loved and respected comedian of his time. He was proud of his Jewish heritage and comedian Jerry Stiller described him as a “Jewish Will Rogers.” He often joked about the annoyances of daily life and societal issues which helped him connect with his audience and endeared him to his fans. He developed a conversational style of delivering his punches and talked directly to his audience. In the words of Jerry Stiller, King was "in touch with what was happening with the world, which is what made him so funny.” The comedian opened for many celebrities like Tony Martin, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, etc. King has made several appearances on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ which increased his popularity among the masses. He was also a talented actor who starred in many movies, in both comic and serious roles. As a theatre artist he made appearances in several theatrical productions, also producing many of them. In addition to the show business, King had a deep interest in politics and became a political activist campaigning for John and Robert Kennedy.

// Famous Actors

Childhood & Early Life

Alan king was the youngest of eight children born to Minnie and Bernard Kniberg who were Russian immigrants in New York. His birth name was Irwin Alan Kniberg.

He gave street performances as a child in order to earn some money. He dropped out of high school at 15 to pursue a career in comedy.

Career

He got a job as a stand-up comedian at the Hotel Gradus in Catskill Mountains. However, he once made fun of the hotel’s owner during a performance and was fired. He later went to Canada where he found work in a burlesque house and also began fighting as a professional boxer.

He was quite successful in his boxing career and won a series of matches, but he quit boxing after his first loss. He adopted the last name “King” of the boxer who beat him, and from then was known as Alan King.

He met the legendary comedian Milton Merle while he was working as a doorman in a nightclub. Merle recognized his talents and became his mentor. King was also influenced by comedian Danny Thomas.

In the 1950’s he became a very popular nightclub comedian and opened for celebrities such as Nat King Cole, Tony Martin and Lena Horne. On Martin’s recommendation, King was offered a small role in the movie ‘Hit the Deck’ (1955).

Over the next few years, he starred in many movies like ‘Miracle in the Rain’ (1956), ‘The Girl He Left Behind’ (1956), ‘The Helen Morgan Story’ (1957).

He was not much active in films in 1960’s and 70’s, though he came back with a bang during the decade of 1980’s. He appeared in films like ‘I, the Jury’ (1982), ‘Lovesick’ (1983), ‘Cat’s Eye’ (1985), ‘Memories of Me’ (1988), and ‘A Love Story’ (1989).

After playing a comic role in a series of films, King was bothered about being typecast as a comedian and wanted to play serious roles. He portrayed a gangster in ‘Night and the City’ (1992), and ‘Casino’ (1995).

In the new millennium he starred in three movies ‘Rush Hour 2’ (2001), ‘Sunshine State’ (2002) and ‘Mind the Gap’ (2004) before his death in May 2004.

He is also the author of five books that include ‘Anyone Who Owns His Own Home Deserves It’ and ‘Help! I'm a Prisoner in a Chinese Bakery.’

Major Works

He starred in the 1980 American comedy film ‘Just Tell Me What you Want’ with Ali MacGraw. He played the role of married, wealthy, and vulgar head of a company who has a stormy yet funny relationship with his mistress.

He played a major role in the 1988 film ‘Memories of Me’ as Abe the ‘King of the extras’ in Hollywood. The movie was about the strained relations between a father-son duo.

Awards and Achievements

He was the first ever recipient of the award for American Jewish Humor (1988) from The National Foundation for Jewish Culture, which is the leading advocate for Jewish cultural life and creativity in the United States. The award was later renamed in his honour.

Personal Life & Legacy

Alan King married his wife Jeanette Sprung in 1947 and had three children. They had been married for 57 years at the time of his death.

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

During his later years he suffered from oral and well as lung cancer. He died on May 9, 2004.

Trivia

He was the emcee for a portion of President John F. Kennedy's inaugural party in 1961.

As a teenager he had formed a musical group called ‘Earl Knight and His Musical Knights’.

// Famous Jewish Comedians

Alan King biography timelines

  • // 1947
    Alan King married his wife Jeanette Sprung in 1947 and had three children. They had been married for 57 years at the time of his death.
  • // 1955
    In the 1950’s he became a very popular nightclub comedian and opened for celebrities such as Nat King Cole, Tony Martin and Lena Horne. On Martin’s recommendation, King was offered a small role in the movie ‘Hit the Deck’ (1955).
  • // 1956
    Over the next few years, he starred in many movies like ‘Miracle in the Rain’ (1956), ‘The Girl He Left Behind’ (1956), ‘The Helen Morgan Story’ (1957).
  • // 1980
    He starred in the 1980 American comedy film ‘Just Tell Me What you Want’ with Ali MacGraw. He played the role of married, wealthy, and vulgar head of a company who has a stormy yet funny relationship with his mistress.
  • // 1982 To 1989
    He was not much active in films in 1960’s and 70’s, though he came back with a bang during the decade of 1980’s. He appeared in films like ‘I, the Jury’ (1982), ‘Lovesick’ (1983), ‘Cat’s Eye’ (1985), ‘Memories of Me’ (1988), and ‘A Love Story’ (1989).
  • // 1988
    He played a major role in the 1988 film ‘Memories of Me’ as Abe the ‘King of the extras’ in Hollywood. The movie was about the strained relations between a father-son duo.
  • // 1988
    He was the first ever recipient of the award for American Jewish Humor (1988) from The National Foundation for Jewish Culture, which is the leading advocate for Jewish cultural life and creativity in the United States. The award was later renamed in his honour.
  • // 1992
    After playing a comic role in a series of films, King was bothered about being typecast as a comedian and wanted to play serious roles. He portrayed a gangster in ‘Night and the City’ (1992), and ‘Casino’ (1995).
  • // 2001 To 2004
    In the new millennium he starred in three movies ‘Rush Hour 2’ (2001), ‘Sunshine State’ (2002) and ‘Mind the Gap’ (2004) before his death in May 2004.
  • // 9th May 2004
    During his later years he suffered from oral and well as lung cancer. He died on May 9, 2004.

// Capricorn Celebrities

Alan King's FAQ

  • What is Alan King birthday?

    Alan King was born at 1927-12-26

  • When was Alan King died?

    Alan King was died at 2004-05-09

  • Where was Alan King died?

    Alan King was died in New York City

  • Which age was Alan King died?

    Alan King was died at age 76

  • Where is Alan King's birth place?

    Alan King was born in New York City

  • What is Alan King nationalities?

    Alan King's nationalities is American

  • Who is Alan King spouses?

    Alan King's spouses is Jeanette Sprung

  • Who is Alan King childrens?

    Alan King's childrens is Andrew King, Elainie Ray, Robert King

  • Who is Alan King's father?

    Alan King's father is bernard kniberg

  • Who is Alan King's mother?

    Alan King's mother is Minnie Kniberg

  • What is Alan King's sun sign?

    Alan King is Capricorn

  • How famous is Alan King?

    Alan King is famouse as American actor