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Ernie Kovacs

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Ernie Kovacs Trivia

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  • Trivia

    • Kovacs' life was the subject of a biography published in 1975 entitled Nothing in Moderation. It was written by David Walley.

    • Co-starred with Alec Guinness in the film Our Man in Havana. Later referred to Guiness as the finest actor he ever worked with.

    • When he was killed, Ernie was returning home from a party at Milton Berle's house.

    • Kovacs was of the Roman Catholic religious faith.

    • Kovacs was a huge fan of classical music and frequently incorporated it into routines on his shows.

    • Five Golden Hours was reportedly Kovacs' favorite out of all his films.

    • In 1987, Kovacs was posthumously inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.

    • In 1994, on what would have been his 75th birthday, a bust of Kovacs was unveiled in his hometown of Trenton, New Jersey.

    • Kovacs' life was the subject of a play entitled The Importance of Being Ernie by Sean Sanczel.

    • Kovacs refused to file income tax returns because he thought the United States tax system was unfair.

    • Kovacs was a strapping fellow who stood 6 feet, 4 inches tall.

    • Kovacs' first television show was on WPTZ in Philadelphia in 1949-50.

    • Kovacs began his show biz career as a disc jockey on radio station WTTM in Trenton, New Jersey.

    • One of Kovacs' most frequent and best remembered characters was an alcoholic poet named Percy Dovetonsils.

    • Kovacs was an avid cigar smoker who often smoked up to 20 stogies a day. According to Hollywood legend, he even had a cigar in his mouth at the time of his fatal automobile accident.

    • The inscription on Kovacs' tombstone reads "Nothing in Moderation."

    • Frequently appeared on game shows such as What's My Line? and You Bet Your Life.

    • Kovacs was an insomniac who rarely slept more than three or four hours a night.

    • Kovacs always claimed that his father was a bootlegger during Prohibition.

    • Kovacs married Edie Adams in Mexico City on September 12, 1954. The ceremony was presided over by former New York City Mayor William O'Dwyer.

    • Kovacs is buried in the Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetary.

    • Kovacs has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 8303 Hollywood Boulevard.

    • Kovacs disliked performing in front of live audiences because he felt that live audiences distracted him.

    • Kovacs and wife Edie Adams were the guest stars in the final episode of the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour ever taped. Lucille Ball filed for divorce from Desi Arnaz the day after the episode's taping.

    • Jeff Goldlum portrayed Kovacs in a 1984 made-for-TV movie entitled Ernie Kovacs: Between the Laughter.

    • Upon his death, friend Jack Lemmon identified Kovacs' body in the city morgue after his hysterical wife was unable to do so.

    • Kovacs wrote a novel entitled Zoomar which was published in 1957.

    • Kovacs' most popular bit on his shows was three musical apes known as the Nairobi Trio.

    • Kovacs' first wife would later abduct their two daughters after she lost custody of them. He spent a couple of years searching for them before finding them in Florida.

    • After hosting the Tonight Show for two nights a week in 1956-57, Kovacs would later accused the show's regular host, Steve Allen, of stealing several of his routines.

    • In a rare occurrence for that era, Kovacs was granted full custody of his two daughters after his divorce from his first wife due to the fact that she was mentally unstable.

    • Kovacs had two daughters, Bettie and Kippie, with his first wife Bette Wilcox and one daughter, Mia Susan, with his second wife, Edie Adams. In a sad bit of irony, Mia Susan Kovacs was killed in an automobile accident in 1982 not far from the location where her father had been killed 20 years earlier.

    • Kovacs frequently appeared in commercials for Dutch Masters cigars. Ironically, wife Edie Adams was the spokeswoman for rival Muriel cigars.

    • Kovacs was originally scheduled to play the role of dentist Melville Crump in the ensemble comedy It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World but when he died in a car wreck shortly before filming began, the role was given to Sid Caesar. Kovacs' widow, Edie Adams, kept her role as Mrs. Crump.

    • When Kovacs died, he owed the government a large amount of money in back taxes. Widow Edie Adams worked for years and finally paid off her late husband's tax debt.

    • Kovacs was of Hungarian descent.

  • Quotes

    • Kovacs: We do these shows for the love of it. The money means nothing. The money is nothing, consequently it means nothing.

    • Kovacs: Seeing a murder on television can help work off one's antagonisms. And if you haven't any antagonisms, the commercials will give you some.

    • Kovacs: There is currently a formula for success in the entertainment medium, that is--beat it to death if it succeeds.

    • Kovacs: Television is often called a medium because it's so rarely well done.

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