Born and Raised in Richmond, California, Ronnie's desire was not to be a performer, but rather to be a professional baseball player. He played semi-pro baseball before deciding to join the Air Force.
While in the Air Force, he began touring bases in an Air Force
Ronnie gave his first son, Gregory,the middle nameJames after Jim Nabors,his good friend and co-star in Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Early in his career Ronnie toured with The Kingston Trio as their opening act.
San Francisco radio personality Don Sherwood dubbed Ronnie Schell "America's slowest rising young comedian."
In the 1980s Ronnie appeared in ads for Shakey's Pizza, a restaurant chain headquartered in San Francisco.
As of 2008, Ronnie Schell is the Honorary Mayor of Encino, California.
Ronnie has a collection of baseball caps representing minor league teams from cities he has visited around the USA.
Ronnie founded the annual "Veterans of Comedy Wars" to raise money for the San Francisco State University athletic department. Each year the event features performances from top-name comedians.
During his Air Force days, while stationed in Waco, Texas, Ronnie traveled with the Air Force dance band, called The Airmen of Note. He was the emcee and performed comedy routines.
Ronnie played semi-pro and American Legion baseball before going into the Air Force.
Ronnie's first appearance on a national television show was on You Bet Your Life, hosted by Groucho Marx. Ronnie won $600.00 and guessed the secret word, which was "table."
Ronnie Schell: (days before his 80th birthday in 2011) I never thought about retiring," he said. "Fortunately, I've never had to, in the sense that I'm still working at night clubs. I just played Vegas for the 42nd year.
Ronnie Schell: The problem with Good Morning, World, which actually was a well-written show, is that we were on opposite Tuesday night at the movies, which was on NBC. And in those days, the movies, there were only 3 networks and the movies were just starting [to air on television]. So every Tuesday night people would look in their TV Guides and say, "Who should we watch tonight, Cary Grant or Ronnie Schell?" Well, guess who won.