Image of Red Buttons

Red Buttons

Although Red Buttons is best known as a stand-up comic, he is also a successful songwriter, an Academy Award-winning actor (and has been nominated for two Golden Globe awards) and an accomplished singer. Born Aaron Chwatt on February 5, 1919 (Aquarius) in New York City's Lower East Side, stood at a height of 5' 6" (1.68 m). Buttons (who got his name from a uniform he wore while working as a singing bellhop), also known as Cpl. Red Buttons, started his show-business career singing on street corners as a child. At 16 he got a job as part of a comedy act playing the famed Catskills resort area in upstate New York (his partner was future actor Robert Alda). Buttons worked the burlesque circuit as a comic and even landed a role in a Broadway play, "Vicki", in 1942. He soon joined the U.S. Marine Corps, and in 1943 was picked for a role in Moss Hart's service play "Winged Victory" on Broadway, and soon afterwards journeyed to Hollywood to make the film version. After his discharge from the service he returned to Broadway, both in plays and as a comic with several big-band orchestras. He was successful enough that he got his own TV series, The Red Buttons Show (1952), on CBS. It lasted three years and won Buttons an Emmy for Best Comedian. He worked steadily for the next several years, and in 1957 got his big film break in the drama Sayonara (1957) with Marlon Brando, in which he played an American soldier stationed in Japan who struggled against the societal and racist pressures of both American and Japanese cultures because of his love for a Japanese woman. His performance garnered him an Academy Award, and more film roles followed. He played a paratrooper in The Longest Day (1962), was nominated for a Golden Globe for Harlow (1965) and again for They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969). He had a part in the TV series The Double Life of Henry Phyfe (1966) and has done pretty much every kind of TV show there is, from variety to comedy to soap operas. He gained further renown in the 1970s for his appearances on the "Dean Martin Celebrity Roast" where he performed his "Never Got a Dinner" act to great acclaim. He has played Las Vegas for years, has a star on Hollywood Boulevard (corner of Hollywood and Vine) and has appeared in numerous telethons and charitable events, for which he has been honored by such organizations as the Friars Club and the City of Hope Hospital. He died July 13, 2006 at the age of 87 in Century City, California, USA from vascular disease.

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Feb 5, 1919 In New York City, New York, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Winged Victory 1944-12-22
Latest Project:
Series The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts 2022
Known For
Poster of It Could Happen to You
Poster of The Poseidon Adventure
Poster of The Longest Day
Poster of The Red Buttons Show
Series The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts Unknown 2022
Movie Goodnight, We Love You Himself 2004-01-01
Series Street Time Unknown 2002-06-23
Series Presidio Med Unknown 2002-09-24
Series Philly Unknown 2001-09-25
Series Family Law Unknown 1999-09-20
Movie The Story of Us Arnie Jordan 1999-10-14
Movie 20th Century Fox: The First 50 Years Self 1997-01-21
Series Cosby Unknown 1996-09-16
Series Early Edition Unknown 1996-09-28
Movie Darryl F. Zanuck: 20th Century Filmmaker Himself - Actor / Friend 1995-09-03
Movie It Could Happen to You Walter Zakuto 1994-07-29
Series ER Jules 'Ruby' Rubadoux 1994-09-19
Movie The Ambulance Elias Zacharai 1990-03-22
Movie 18 Again! Charlie 1988-04-08
Series Roseanne Unknown 1988-10-18
Series It's Garry Shandling's Show Unknown 1986-09-10
Series Alice in Wonderland White Rabbitt 1985-12-09
Movie Reunion at Fairborough Jiggs Quealy 1985-05-12
Series 227 Unknown 1985-09-14
Series The Cosby Show Unknown 1984-09-20
Series Aloha Paradise Unknown 1981-02-25
Movie Leave 'em Laughing Roland 1981-04-29
Movie Side Show Unknown 1981-06-04
Series Pink Lady Unknown 1980-03-01
Movie Power Solly Weiss 1980-01-14
Movie When Time Ran Out... Francis Fendly 1980-03-28
Series The Dream Merchants Bruce Benson 1980-05-12
Movie Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July Milton 1979-07-01
Movie The Muppets Go Hollywood Himself 1979-05-16
Movie C.H.O.M.P.S. Bracken 1979-12-21
Series Knots Landing Unknown 1979-12-27
Movie The Users Warren Ambrose 1978-10-01
Series Vega$ Unknown 1978-09-20
Movie Movie Movie Peanuts / Jinks Murphy 1978-11-01
Movie Viva Knievel! Ben Andrews 1977-06-10
Series The Love Boat Buddy Redmond 1977-09-24
Movie Pete's Dragon Hoagy 1977-11-03
Movie Telethon Marty Rand 1977-11-06
Movie Louis Armstrong - Chicago Style Unknown 1976-01-25
Movie Joys Unknown 1976-03-05
Movie Gable and Lombard Ivan Cooper 1976-02-11
Series Wonder Woman Ashley Norman 1975-11-07
Series Little House on the Prairie Unknown 1974-09-11
Movie The Poseidon Adventure James Martin 1972-12-13
Series Great Performances self 1971-01-28
Movie Who Killed Mary Whats'ername? Mickey Isadore 1971-12-11
Movie George M! Sam H. Harris 1970-09-12
Movie Breakout Pipes 1970-08-12
Series Love, American Style Unknown 1969-09-29
Movie They Shoot Horses, Don't They? Sailor 1969-12-10
Series The Danny Thomas Hour Unknown 1967-09-11
Series The Double Life Of Henry Phyfe Henry Wadsworth Phyfe 1966-01-13
Movie Stagecoach Peacock 1966-04-21
Series The Jackie Gleason Show Unknown 1966-09-17
Movie Up from the Beach PFC Harry Devine 1965-05-25
Series The Dean Martin Show Unknown 1965-09-16
Movie Harlow Arthur Landauer 1965-06-23
Series The Hollywood Palace Unknown 1964-01-04
Movie Your Cheatin' Heart Shorty Younger 1964-11-04
Movie A Ticklish Affair Flight Officer Simon 'Uncle Cy' Shelley 1963-08-18
Series Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Unknown 1963-10-04
Series The Greatest Show on Earth Unknown 1963-09-17
Movie Hatari! Pockets 1962-06-19
Series Saints and Sinners Joe Roganyan 1962-09-17
Movie Five Weeks in a Balloon Donald O'Shay 1962-01-01
Movie The Longest Day Pvt. John Steele 1962-09-25
Movie Gay Purr-ee Robespierre (voice) 1962-10-24
Series The Eleventh Hour Unknown 1962-10-03
Series Ben Casey Unknown 1961-10-02
Series Password Unknown 1961-10-02
Series Frontier Circus Unknown 1961-10-05
Series The Mike Douglas Show Unknown 1961-12-11
Movie One, Two, Three MP Sergeant (uncredited) 1961-12-15
Series The Bell Telephone Hour Unknown 1959-01-12
Series Startime Unknown 1959-10-06
Movie The Big Circus Randy Sherman 1959-07-05
Movie Imitation General Cpl. Chan Derby 1958-08-20
Series Kraft Music Hall Self 1958-10-08
Movie Sayonara Joe Kelly 1957-12-25
Series The Dinah Shore Chevy Show Unknown 1956-10-05
Series General Electric Theater Unknown 1953-02-01
Series The Oscars Himself 1953-03-18
Series The United States Steel Hour Unknown 1953-10-27
Series The Red Buttons Show Host 1952-10-14
Movie Footlight Varieties Himself 1951-01-01
Series What's My Line? Self - Mystery Guest 1950-02-02
Series Suspense Unknown 1949-01-06
Series Studio One Unknown 1948-11-07
Series The Ed Sullivan Show Unknown 1948-06-20
Movie Winged Victory Whitey / Andrews Sister 1944-12-22