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Alan King

A true renaissance man, Alan King is a comedian, actor, producer, author, TV personality, philanthropist, fashion entreprenuer, pro tennis tournament organizer, chairman of the board and political activist.

A stand-up comic for more than five decades (a favorite of Britain's Royal Family, he has given several Royal Command Performances), King is a versatile actor who has been often cast against type, playing serious parts and sometimes a villain. His motion picture career began in 1955 with Hit the Deck and encompasses 20 motion picture credits that include Casino, Night and the City, Bonfire of the Vanities, Enemies, A Love Story, Author! Author!, I, The Jury, Just Tell Me What You Want and The Helen Morgan Story.

On the production side, King is an owner and member of the Executive Board of the Kaufman-Astoria Studios, where interiors are shot for numerous New York City films, and has produced such films as Wolfen and Memories of Me, which he also co-starred in with Billy Crystal.

As an author, King has written five best-selling books, including his autobiography, Name-Dropping The Life & Lies of Alan King, as well as Anyone Who Owns His Own Home Deserves It, Help, I'm A Prisoner In A Chinese Bakery and Is Salami & Eggs Better Than Sex?. He is currently completing The Jewish Wit for Crown Publishing.

On television, King hosted the long-running show on Comedy Central, Alan King: Inside the Comedy Mind, in which he interviewed comedians and actors exploring their attitudes toward comedy. King has appeared on virtually every variety show in the annals of TV (a total of over 1,000 appearances) and hosts PBS' Great Performance Series, The College of Comedy.

For the Broadway stage, King was a star and producer of The Impossible Years, producer of the first Barbra Streisand tour, The Lion in Winter, The Investigation, Tyrone Guthrie's Dinner at Eight and Something Different.

King, who was just elected Abbot of the New York Friars Club (a position held by Frank Sinatra for 20 years), is an avid tennis player who co-chairs the Newsweek Champions Cup, held annually in Indian Wells, California. His outstanding service to the sport has earned him a place in the Eastern Tennis Association's Hall of Fame, as well as recognition in print as New York's #1 tennis fan. Each year, King is the Master of Ceremonies of the US Open Arthur Ashe Tennis Challenge.

A noted philanthropist, King's interests include the thirteen-story hospital complex The Alan King Diagnostic Medical Center in Jerusalem and establishing a nonsectarian scholarship fund for American students at the Hebrew University, and an Albert Einstein Scholarship Fund. He is a fund-raiser for Nassau Center for the Emotionally Disturbed Children and established a Dramatic Arts chair at Brandeis University. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Northshore Medical Center in New York and pioneered the Toyota Comedy Festival for the past eight years and it's Laugh Well program, bringing stand-up comedy to tri-state area hospitals.

Married to his wife Jeanette for 53 years, King has three children and six grandchildren.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2000.

Alan King Facts

OccupationComedian, Actor

Selected Filmography

Inside the Comedy Mind
King Solomon's Treasure
Gutter King
Stephen King's Cat's Eye
One Bean Too Many
Stephen King's Graveyard Shift
The Lord's Prayer
All Change
King Charles and Queen Camilla: Into the Unknown
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