Rodney Dangerfield Dies at Age 82
The actor/comedian suffered a minor stroke and slipped into a coma following the operation. He awoke from the coma last week.
Dangerfield cast himself as the perpetual underdog with his "no respect" tagline and self deprecating humor, endearing him to fans. Dangerfield came up with the signature line to punctuate his jokes, like "When I was born, I was so ugly that the doctor slapped my mother". When he first tried out the line during a night club performance the audience loved it and it became a key part of his act.
Born Jacob Cohen on Nov. 22, 1921 in Babylon, Long Island New York, Rodney used humor from an early age to overcome his unhappy home life. His class clown persona led Dangerfield to a career as a comic. At the age of 19, he started performing in the Catskills under the moniker Jack Roy. He found modest success and at the age of 27 he married singer Joyce Indig, and took on a day job as a paint and siding salesman to support his family, which grew to include two children. But the marriage was fated to end in divorce in 1962. Another marriage followed a year later but that too ended in divorce.
At the age of 42, Rodney decided to return to comedy and adopted the stage name Rodney Dangerfield. This time his career followed a more successful path after Rodney got his big break with an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. He managed to get that audition by sneaking in to the studio during a dress rehearsal. That first appearance led to six subsequent appearances on the show and he became a regular guest of Johnny Carson on the tonight show where he would go on to make over 70 appearances.
He also found success with his New York nightclub "Dangerfield's" which he opened in 1969 so he could stop touring and concentrate on raising his family. The club was a success and allowed Rodney to offer a generation of up and coming comics their first big break.
Dangerfield got major respect in the 80s when he played a key role in the hit comedy "Caddy Shack" which he followed up with leading roles in "Easy Money" and "Back to School". Two films where Rodney found his talent as a screenwriter as well as actor.
Other film roles followed as both the leading man and supporting characters including "Ladybugs," "Moving," "The Scout," " Casper," "Meet Wally Sparks," and an unforgettable role in "Natural Born Killers."
Dangerfield is survived by his wife and