HOME
The Info List - Red Buttons





Red Buttons
Red Buttons
(born Aaron Chwatt; February 5, 1919 – July 13, 2006) was an American comedian and actor. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Sayonara
Sayonara
(1957).

Contents

1 Early life 2 Career 3 Personal life

3.1 Death

4 Filmography 5 References 6 External links

Early life[edit] Red Buttons
Red Buttons
was born Aaron Chwatt[1] on February 5, 1919, in New York City, to Jewish immigrants Sophie (née Baker) and Michael Chwatt.[2][3] At sixteen years old, Chwatt got a job as an entertaining bellhop at Ryan's Tavern in City Island, Bronx. The combination of his red hair and the large, shiny buttons on the bellhop uniforms inspired orchestra leader Charles "Dinty" Moore to call him "Red Buttons," the name under which he would later perform. Later that same summer Buttons worked on the Borscht Belt;[1] his straight man was Robert Alda. Buttons was working at the Irvington Hotel in South Fallsburg, New York, when the Master of Ceremonies became incapacitated, and he asked for the chance to replace him. In 1939 Buttons started working for Minsky's Burlesque; in 1941, José Ferrer chose Buttons to appear in a Broadway show The Admiral Had a Wife. The show was a farce set in Pearl Harbor, and it was due to open on December 8, 1941. It never did, as it was deemed inappropriate after the Japanese attack. In later years Buttons would joke that the Japanese only attacked Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
to keep him off Broadway. Career[edit] In September 1942 Buttons made his Broadway debut in Vickie with Ferrer and Uta Hagen. Later that year he appeared in the Minsky's show Wine, Women and Song. This was the last classic Burlesque show in New York City history, as the Mayor La Guardia administration closed it down. Buttons was on stage when the show was raided. Drafted into the United States Army Air Forces, Buttons in 1943 appeared in the Army Air Forces' Broadway show Winged Victory, along with several future stars, including Mario Lanza, John Forsythe, Karl Malden and Lee J. Cobb. A year later he appeared in Darryl F. Zanuck's movie version of Winged Victory, directed by George Cukor. Buttons also entertained troops in the European Theater in the same Jeep Show unit as Mickey Rooney. After the war Buttons continued to do Broadway shows. He also performed at Broadway movie houses with big bands. In 1952, Buttons received his own variety series on television, The Red Buttons
Red Buttons
Show, which ran for three years on CBS. It was the #11 show in prime time in 1952.[4] In 1953 he recorded and had a two-sided hit with Strange Things Are Happening/The Ho Ho Song, with both sides/songs essentially being the same. His role in Sayonara
Sayonara
was a dramatic departure from his previous work. In this film, co-starring with Marlon Brando, he played Joe Kelly, an American airman stationed in Kobe, Japan during the Korean War, who marries Katsumi, a Japanese woman (played by Miyoshi Umeki), but is barred from taking her back to the United States. His moving portrayal of Kelly's calm resolve not to abandon the relationship, and the touching reassurance of Katsumi, impressed audiences and critics alike. Buttons won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
and Umeki won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
for the film.

Buttons as Henry Phyfe

After his Oscar-winning role Buttons performed in numerous feature films, including the Africa adventure Hatari!
Hatari!
with John Wayne, the adventure Five Weeks in a Balloon (1962) (where he received top billing), the war epic The Longest Day, the biopic Harlow, the disaster film The Poseidon Adventure, the dance-marathon drama They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, the family comedy Pete's Dragon, the disaster film When Time Ran Out
When Time Ran Out
with Paul Newman
Paul Newman
and the age-reversal comedy 18 Again!
18 Again!
with George Burns. In 1966 Buttons again starred in his own TV series, a spy spoof called The Double Life of Henry Phyfe, which ran for one season. Buttons also made memorable guest appearances on several TV programs including The Eleventh Hour, Little House on the Prairie, It's Garry Shandling's Show, ER and Roseanne. His last TV role was as a homeless man on CBS' Knots Landing. He became a nationally recognisable comedian, and his "Never Got A Dinner" routine was a standard of The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast for many years. He was number 71 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time. Buttons received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
for television, his star being located at 1651 Vine Street. Personal life[edit] Buttons married actress Roxanne Arlen in 1947, but the marriage soon ended in divorce. He married Helayne McNorton on December 8, 1949. They divorced in 1963. His last marriage was to Alicia Pratts, which lasted from January 27, 1964, until her death in March 2001. Buttons had two children, Amy Buttons and Adam Buttons. He was the advertising spokesman for Century Village, Florida, a retirement community. Buttons was an early member of the Synagogue for the Performing Arts, and at the time Rabbi Jerome Cutler was the Rabbi.[5] Death[edit] Buttons died of complications from cardiovascular disease on July 13, 2006, at age 87 at his home in Century City, Los Angeles. He had been ill for a while and was with family members when he died. His ashes were given to his family after cremation.[1] Filmography[edit]

Buttons in 1978

Year Title Role Notes

1944 Winged Victory Whitey / Andrews Sister as Cpl. Red Buttons

1946 13 Rue Madeleine Second Jump Master Uncredited

1951 Footlight Varieties Himself

1957 Sayonara Airman Joe Kelly Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture Nominated— BAFTA Award
BAFTA Award
for Most Promising Newcomer

1958 Imitation General Cpl. Chan Derby

1959 The Big Circus Randy Sherman

1961 One, Two, Three MP sergeant cameo, Uncredited

1962 Hatari! Pockets

1962 Five Weeks in a Balloon Donald O'Shay

1962 The Longest Day Private John Steele

1962 Gay Purr-ee Robespierre voice

1963 A Ticklish Affair Uncle Cy

1964 Your Cheatin' Heart Shorty Younger

1965 Up from the Beach Pfc. Harry Devine

1965 Harlow Arthur Landau Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture

1966 Stagecoach Peacock

1969 The Moviemakers Himself short subject

1969 They Shoot Horses, Don't They? Sailor Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture

1971 Who Killed Mary What's 'Er Name? Mickey

1972 The Poseidon Adventure James Martin

1975 The New Original Wonder Woman (pilot) Ashley Norman

1976 Gable and Lombard Ivan Cooper

1977 Viva Knievel! Ben Andrews

1977 Pete's Dragon Hoagy Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor

1978 The Users Warren Ambrose TV movie

1978 Movie Movie Peanuts / Jinks Murphy

1979 Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July Milton Voice

1979 C.H.O.M.P.S. Bracken

1980 When Time Ran Out Francis Fendly

1980 The Dream Merchants Bruce Benson TV movie

1985 Reunion at Fairborough Jiggs Quealy

1985 Alice in Wonderland The White Rabbit

1988 18 Again! Charlie

1990 The Ambulance Elias Zacharai

1994 It Could Happen to You Walter Zakuto

1999 The Story of Us Arnie Jordan

2000 AMC Backstory - The Longest Day Himself documentary

2001 Odessa or Bust The Old Man short subject

2004 Goodnight, We Love You

documentary

2005 Sid Bernstein Presents... Himself documentary

References[edit]

^ a b c Comedian Red Buttons
Red Buttons
dies at 87. BBC News. 14 July 2006. ^ "Motion Pictures". Encyclopaedia Judaica. Keter Publishing House. 1971–1972.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ http://www.filmreference.com/film/55/Red-Buttons.html ^ http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1952.htm ^ http://www.forward.com/articles/8150/ The Forward

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Red Buttons.

Interview with Red Buttons' Television Writer, August 2012 Red Buttons
Red Buttons
on IMDb Red Buttons
Red Buttons
at the TCM Movie Database 99569 Red Buttons
Red Buttons
at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Red Buttons
Red Buttons
at AllMovie Interview on YouTube
YouTube
by Leon Charney
Leon Charney
on The Leon Charney
Leon Charney
Report " Red Buttons
Red Buttons
on Dean Martin Roast" on YouTube, video, 4 minutes Actor Red Buttons
Red Buttons
dead at 87

Awards for Red Buttons

v t e

Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor

1936–1950

Walter Brennan
Walter Brennan
(1936) Joseph Schildkraut
Joseph Schildkraut
(1937) Walter Brennan
Walter Brennan
(1938) Thomas Mitchell (1939) Walter Brennan
Walter Brennan
(1940) Donald Crisp
Donald Crisp
(1941) Van Heflin
Van Heflin
(1942) Charles Coburn
Charles Coburn
(1943) Barry Fitzgerald
Barry Fitzgerald
(1944) James Dunn (1945) Harold Russell
Harold Russell
(1946) Edmund Gwenn
Edmund Gwenn
(1947) Walter Huston
Walter Huston
(1948) Dean Jagger
Dean Jagger
(1949) George Sanders
George Sanders
(1950)

1951–1975

Karl Malden
Karl Malden
(1951) Anthony Quinn
Anthony Quinn
(1952) Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
(1953) Edmond O'Brien
Edmond O'Brien
(1954) Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
(1955) Anthony Quinn
Anthony Quinn
(1956) Red Buttons
Red Buttons
(1957) Burl Ives
Burl Ives
(1958) Hugh Griffith
Hugh Griffith
(1959) Peter Ustinov
Peter Ustinov
(1960) George Chakiris
George Chakiris
(1961) Ed Begley
Ed Begley
(1962) Melvyn Douglas
Melvyn Douglas
(1963) Peter Ustinov
Peter Ustinov
(1964) Martin Balsam
Martin Balsam
(1965) Walter Matthau
Walter Matthau
(1966) George Kennedy
George Kennedy
(1967) Jack Albertson
Jack Albertson
(1968) Gig Young
Gig Young
(1969) John Mills
John Mills
(1970) Ben Johnson (1971) Joel Grey
Joel Grey
(1972) John Houseman
John Houseman
(1973) Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
(1974) George Burns
George Burns
(1975)

1976–2000

Jason Robards
Jason Robards
(1976) Jason Robards
Jason Robards
(1977) Christopher Walken
Christopher Walken
(1978) Melvyn Douglas
Melvyn Douglas
(1979) Timothy Hutton
Timothy Hutton
(1980) John Gielgud
John Gielgud
(1981) Louis Gossett Jr.
Louis Gossett Jr.
(1982) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1983) Haing S. Ngor
Haing S. Ngor
(1984) Don Ameche
Don Ameche
(1985) Michael Caine
Michael Caine
(1986) Sean Connery
Sean Connery
(1987) Kevin Kline
Kevin Kline
(1988) Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
(1989) Joe Pesci
Joe Pesci
(1990) Jack Palance
Jack Palance
(1991) Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman
(1992) Tommy Lee Jones
Tommy Lee Jones
(1993) Martin Landau
Martin Landau
(1994) Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey
(1995) Cuba Gooding Jr.
Cuba Gooding Jr.
(1996) Robin Williams
Robin Williams
(1997) James Coburn
James Coburn
(1998) Michael Caine
Michael Caine
(1999) Benicio del Toro
Benicio del Toro
(2000)

2001–present

Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
(2001) Chris Cooper
Chris Cooper
(2002) Tim Robbins
Tim Robbins
(2003) Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman
(2004) George Clooney
George Clooney
(2005) Alan Arkin
Alan Arkin
(2006) Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem
(2007) Heath Ledger
Heath Ledger
(2008) Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz
(2009) Christian Bale
Christian Bale
(2010) Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer
(2011) Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz
(2012) Jared Leto
Jared Leto
(2013) J. K. Simmons
J. K. Simmons
(2014) Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance
(2015) Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali
(2016) Sam Rockwell
Sam Rockwell
(2017)

v t e

Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture

Akim Tamiroff
Akim Tamiroff
(1943) Barry Fitzgerald
Barry Fitzgerald
(1944) J. Carrol Naish
J. Carrol Naish
(1945) Clifton Webb
Clifton Webb
(1946) Edmund Gwenn
Edmund Gwenn
(1947) Walter Huston
Walter Huston
(1948) James Whitmore
James Whitmore
(1949) Edmund Gwenn
Edmund Gwenn
(1950) Peter Ustinov
Peter Ustinov
(1951) Millard Mitchell
Millard Mitchell
(1952) Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
(1953) Edmond O'Brien
Edmond O'Brien
(1954) Arthur Kennedy
Arthur Kennedy
(1955) Earl Holliman
Earl Holliman
(1956) Red Buttons
Red Buttons
(1957) Burl Ives
Burl Ives
(1958) Stephen Boyd
Stephen Boyd
(1959) Sal Mineo
Sal Mineo
(1960) George Chakiris
George Chakiris
(1961) Omar Sharif
Omar Sharif
(1962) John Huston
John Huston
(1963) Edmond O'Brien
Edmond O'Brien
(1964) Oskar Werner
Oskar Werner
(1965) Richard Attenborough
Richard Attenborough
(1966) Richard Attenborough
Richard Attenborough
(1967) Daniel Massey (1968) Gig Young
Gig Young
(1969) John Mills
John Mills
(1970) Ben Johnson (1971) Joel Grey
Joel Grey
(1972) John Houseman
John Houseman
(1973) Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
(1974) Richard Benjamin
Richard Benjamin
(1975) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1976) Peter Firth
Peter Firth
(1977) John Hurt
John Hurt
(1978) Melvyn Douglas/ Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
(1979) Timothy Hutton
Timothy Hutton
(1980) John Gielgud
John Gielgud
(1981) Louis Gossett Jr.
Louis Gossett Jr.
(1982) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1983) Haing S. Ngor
Haing S. Ngor
(1984) Klaus Maria Brandauer
Klaus Maria Brandauer
(1985) Tom Berenger
Tom Berenger
(1986) Sean Connery
Sean Connery
(1987) Martin Landau
Martin Landau
(1988) Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
(1989) Bruce Davison
Bruce Davison
(1990) Jack Palance
Jack Palance
(1991) Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman
(1992) Tommy Lee Jones
Tommy Lee Jones
(1993) Martin Landau
Martin Landau
(1994) Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt
(1995) Edward Norton
Edward Norton
(1996) Burt Reynolds
Burt Reynolds
(1997) Ed Harris
Ed Harris
(1998) Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise
(1999) Benicio del Toro
Benicio del Toro
(2000) Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
(2001) Chris Cooper
Chris Cooper
(2002) Tim Robbins
Tim Robbins
(2003) Clive Owen
Clive Owen
(2004) George Clooney
George Clooney
(2005) Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy
(2006) Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem
(2007) Heath Ledger
Heath Ledger
(2008) Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz
(2009) Christian Bale
Christian Bale
(2010) Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer
(2011) Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz
(2012) Jared Leto
Jared Leto
(2013) J. K. Simmons
J. K. Simmons
(2014) Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone
(2015) Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Aaron Taylor-Johnson
(2016) Sam Rockwell
Sam Rockwell
(2017)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 39564792 LCCN: n86114380 ISNI: 0000 0000 6636 617X GND: 1062293991 BNF: cb139300807 (data) MusicBrainz: 5e9d7558-5837-472a-a56e-207837e2bce7 BNE: XX1658265 SN

.