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Phil Silvers Biography

Birth Name:
Philip Silversmith
Birth Place:
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Actor, comedian

Fast Facts

  • At age 11, became a "breakdown singer" at a Brooklyn movie house, entertaining the audience whenever the projector failed
  • Started in vaudeville at age 13
  • Made his Broadway debut in 1938 in a Buddy Ebsen musical, "Yokel Boy
  • " One of his first screen tests was for the role of an English vicar in the 1940 production of Pride and Prejudice, starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier
  • He didn't get the part
  • Introduced Lana Turner to legendary bandleader---and his pal---Artie Shaw
  • When the two eloped, it was left to Silvers to break the news to Shaw's girlfriend, Betty Grable
  • Initially dismissed the concept of The Phil Silvers Show (aka You'll Never Get Rich) as "too Abbott and Costello
  • " Won the Best Comedian Emmy Award in 1956
  • In 1981, guest starred on Happy Days opposite his daughter Cathy, who played Joanie's pal Jenny Piccalo


  • 1959Emmy-Best Actor in a Leading Role (Continuing Character) in a Comedy Series: nominated
  • 1958Emmy-Best Continuing Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic or Comedy Series: nominated
  • 1957Emmy-Best Continuing Performance by a Comedian in a Series: nominated
  • 1956Emmy-Best Actor-Continuing Performance: winner


  • Harry Silversmith -- Brother
  • Candace Silvers -- Daughter
  • Cathy Silvers -- Daughter
  • Laurie Silvers -- Daughter
  • Nancey Silvers -- Daughter
  • Tracey Edythe Silvers -- Daughter
  • Evelyn Patrick -- Ex-wife
  • Saul -- Father
  • Sarah -- Mother