FAST FACTS: Ed McMahon's Life and Career

Ed McMahon was born in Detroit and raised in Lowell, MA

(Source: bio on Baseline - Filmtracker)

1938 Began his career as a bingo caller in Maine when he was 15

First broadcasting job was at WLLH-AM in Lowell, MA

Served in the US Marines during WWII; earned wings at Pensacola Naval base and became a fighter pilot instructor

1949 Began his television career as on-air personality in Philadelphia, PA at WCAU-TV

1950 Performed as a clown on "The Big Top" (CBS)

1957 -1962 First worked with Johnny Carson, as announcer and host on the daytime gameshow "Who Do You Trust?" (ABC)

1962 -1992 Worked alongside Johnny Carson as the announcer and sidekick on NBC's "The Tonight Show"

1963 -1964 Hosted the game show "Missing Links" (NBC)

1967 First notable acting role, "The Incident"

1967 -1969 Hosted the NBC game show, "Snap Judgment"

1972 Headlined the NBC comedy special "Ed McMahon and His Friends ... Discover Cypress Gardens"

1973 Returned to films after a six-year absence in "Slaughter's Big Rip-Off"

1977 Co-starred with Jane Fonda and George Segal in "Fun With Dick and Jane"

1979 Hosted the short-lived NBC game show "Whodunit?"

1979 Acted in the TV-movie "The Kid From Left Field"

1980 Featured in the NBC TV-movies "The Great American Traffic Jam" and "The Golden Momemt - An Olympic Love Story"

1981 Co-starred in the NBC miniseries "The Star Maker"

1981 Had supporting role in the instant camp classic "Butterfly" featuring Pia Zadora

1982 Co-hosted a series of NBC specials, "Television's Greatest Commercials"

1983 -1995 Hosted the syndicated TV talent show, "Ed McMahon's Star Search"

1982 -1998 Co-hosted with Dick Clark NBC's "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes"

With Clark, became a commercial spokesperson for American Family Publishers

1991 Hosted a number of ABC specials "Super Bloopers & New Practical Jokes" alongside Clark

1994 Played himself in the feature film "Love Affair"

1997 -1998 Had regular role on the sitcom "The Tom Show" (WB) playing the host of a morning talk show

1998 Played a grandfather in the ABC TV-movie "Safety Patrol"

1998 Published his autobiography For Laughing Out Loud: My Life and Good Times

2000 Was the subject of the A&E's Biography segment "Ed McMahon: America's Sidekick"

2001 -2002 Returned to weekly TV as host of "Ed McMahon's Next Big Star" (PAX-TV); also produced

2004 Was the announcer and co-host of "Alf's Hit Talk Show" (TV Land)

2005 Penned second book Here's Johnny!: My Memories of Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show, and 46 Years of Friendship



McMahon has lent his talents as announcer each year to Jerry Lewis' Labor Day Telethon to fight Muscular Dystrophy.

McMahon received the Man of the Year humanitarian award from the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation (1981)

"He had a great gift," says friend Don Rickles. "He was a magnificent straight man. People like him don't exist anymore." - Don Rickles on McMahon, quoted in Entertainment Weekly, April 8, 2005

"My attitude was: Be in when needed and out of the way when not needed. That's an art form." - McMahon on working with Johnny Carson to Emmy magazine, Issue No. 2, 2005

In March 2008, it was announced McMahon was recovering from a broken neck and two subsequent surgeries. He was injured in 2007 in a fall.

In June 2008, it was announced that McMahon is $644,000 behind on payments on $4.8 million in mortgage loans and is fighting to avoid foreclosure on his multimillion-dollar Beverly Hills home. McMahon has also been sued by Citibank for $180,000. McMahon appeared on "Larry King Live" (CNN) on June 5, 2008 with his wife to talk about this situation.

[source: StudioSystem]


McMahon broke his neck in a fall in 2007.

McMahon faced foreclosure on his home last year

a deal was announced last Dec. that would allow him to stay in the house.

[source: AP, Source: Ed McMahon hospitalized with bone cancer, February 27, 2009]