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Ed Sullivan

Ed Sullivan

Ed Sullivan (September 28, 1902 - October 13, 1974) was an American entertainment writer and television host, best known as the emcee of a popular TV variety show that was at its height of popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Sullivan was originally a newspaper sportswriter and theater columnist for the New York Daily News. His column concentrated on Broadway shows and gossip. He also did show business news broadcasts on radio.

In 1948 the CBS network hired Sullivan to do a weekly Sunday night TV variety show which became The Ed Sullivan Show. The show was broadcast from the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City, which is now the home of The Late Show with David Letterman. Sullivan himself seemed to have little acting ability and his mannerisms on camera were somewhat awkward and often caricatured by comedians (who called him Great Stone Face due to his deadpan delivery). Somehow Sullivan still seemed to fit the show; he appeared to the audience as an average guy who brought the great acts of show business to their home televisions.

In the 1950s and 1960s Sullivan was a respected starmaker because of the number of performers that became household names after appearing on the show. He had a knack for identifying and promoting top talent and paid a great deal of money to secure that talent for his show.

In August of 1956 he was injured in an automobile accident that occurred near his country home in Southbury, Connecticut and had to take a medical leave from the show missing the September 8 appearance of Elvis Presley on his show (something he earlier stated never would happen but he later changed his mind). The fact he had to play catch up to featuring such a star on his show made him determined to get the next big sensation first. In 1964, he achieved that with the first live American appearance of The Beatles.

Sullivan paid for the funeral of dancer Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson out of his own pocket. He also defied pressure to exclude african-american musicians from appearing on his show.

Sullivan is interred in the Ferncliff Cemetery, Hartsdale, New York.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6101 Hollywood Blvd.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Ed Sullivan Facts

Birth NameEdward Vincent Sullivan
OccupationTV Host
BirthdaySeptember 28, 1902
SignLibra
BirthplaceNew York, New York, USA
Date of deathOctober 13, 1974 (age 72)

Selected Filmography

The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show
The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles
The Very Best of the Ed Sullivan Show: Unforgettable Performances Volume 1
Motown Gold From the Ed Sullivan Show
Ed Sullivan Presents: Rock 'N' Roll Revolution
A Classic Christmas
The Best of Broadway Musicals
Ed Sullivan's Rock & Roll Classics: 7-DVD Set
6 Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Rolling Stones /
The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show: Unforgettable Performances
Continue » Find more details on the Ed Sullivan Movies page