Comedian Jack Carter, Host of First Televised Tony Awards, Dies at 93 | Playbill

News Comedian Jack Carter, Host of First Televised Tony Awards, Dies at 93 Jack Carter, a versatile comedian who was an star in the early days of television, Died June 28 in Beverly Hills, CA. He was 93.

In 1949, following a few guest spots on "Texaco Star Theatre," Mr. Carter became the host of "Cavalcade of Stars," a variety show on the DuMont network. One year later, he was lured to NBC as star of his own show, "The Jack Carter Show," which was part of "The Saturday Night Revue," an omnibus program that also featured Sid Caesar’s "Your Show of Shows." Between the two gigs, Mr. Carter became a national figure. He was still in his 20s.

Throughout the 1950s and early ‘60s, Mr. Carter was a regular presence on the small screen, appearing as a guest on Jack Paar’s "Tonight Show," often as a guest host, "The Garry Moore Show," "Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall," "Stage Show," "The Hollywood Palace" and various game shows. At the same time, he began taking acting roles on television and the occasional film. Over the decades, he logged credits as various as "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Make Room for Daddy," "Combat!" "Batman," "Julia," "I Dream of Jeannie," "Mannix," "Love, American Style," "Police Story," "Sanford and Son," "Fantasy Island" and "Lois & Clark." His last major TV role was in "Shameless."

Unlike many other comedians of his era and ilk, Jack Carter developed a reputation as an all-around performer, capable of stage, television, film and comedy club work, as adept with a song as he was with a joke, a good guest and an agile host. On Broadway, he found time to act in Call Me Mister 1946, Top Banana (1951), in which he stepped into the lead role created by Phil Silvers, and Mr. Wonderful (1956), where he starred opposite Sammy Davis Jr. He was equipped with a good voice, and recorded an album, "Broadway a la Jack Carter." He also holds the distinction of hosting the first televised Tony Awards in 1956, the year he was in Mr. Wonderful.

"I like to mix it up to keep from burning out," he told The New York Times in 1950. "I’m a mimic, I sing, and we’re planning some dramatic sketches.... Television is a great medium to try out anything one wants to do."

Jack Carter was born on June 24, 1922 in New York, New York, USA as Jack Chakrin. His father ran a restaurant. He attend New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn, a school that birthed many a performer. He was married three times, and is survived by his wife Roxanne, his sons Michael Carter (Victoria) and Chase Carter, daughter Wendy Carter, grandchildren Jake and Ava, plus his third wife, Roxanne Wander, and a son by his second wife, Michael Carter.

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