Phil Silvers

Phil Silvers


5/11/1911, Brooklyn, New York, New York, USA



Birth Name

Fishel Silver


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Phil Silvers grew up in relative poverty in New York. To escape, he began singing and cracking jokes. He performed in various vaudeville shows until his voice changed at 16. Afterwards, he began to act rather than sing in touring vaudeville shows. While performing in a burlesque comedy…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In 1973, Phil Silvers wrote his autobiography The Laugh Is on Me.

    • Phil Silvers was the composer of "Nancy with the Laughing Face," a hit song for Frank Sinatra.

    • Phil Silvers won two Tony awards (Best Actor in a Musical). His first was in 1952 for Top Banana. His second was in 1972 for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He was nominated one additional time in 1961 for Do Re Mi, but he did not win.

    • His daughter is Cathie Silvers.

  • Quotes

    • Phil: (on the success of Bilko) I had adoration before, but it was never anything like this. It was a limited-type adoration. Now they adore me all out.

    • Phil: (about the pitch for "The Phil Silvers Show") When Nat first thought of this Army thing, I didn't like it. But it had one major quality — it wasn't show business. I'm fed up with comedies about show business.

    • Phil Silvers: I'm an impatient comedian. And I feel the audience is as impatient as me.