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Berle, Miltonlocked

(12 July 1908–27 March 2002)
  • David Marc

Extract

Berle, Milton (12 July 1908–27 March 2002), comic performer in vaudeville, nightclubs, film, radio, and television, was born Mendel Berlinger in the area of upper Manhattan then known as Jewish Harlem, the son of Moses Berlinger, a paint and housewares salesman, and Sarah "Sadie" Glantz Berlinger, a department store detective. Fourth of the family's five children, Berle was, by all accounts, a precocious child with an obsessive urge to entertain the people around him, often by mimicking them or by imitating celebrities. Sadie Berlinger recognized his verbal talents when he was barely past infancy and determined to manage him to a career as a performer. The boy made his first public appearance at age five, winning a ...

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