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Ed Ames Biography

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Ed Ames (born July 9, 1927) is an American popular singer and actor.

He was born Edmund Dantes Urick in Malden, Massachusetts, and along with his three brothers, Joe (born May 3, 1921), Gene (born February 13, 1923), and Vic (May 20, 1925-January 23, 1978) excelled in athletics as a child. The brothers also liked to sing, and formed a quartet, "The Urick Brothers," which sang in many clubs in the Boston area. When they wanted to go to New York, the playwright Abe Burroughs suggested the name The Ames Brothers, and under that name the group had many hits in the 1950s. One in particular - Raggmopp, with the memorable line of R-A-G-G, M-O-P-P, Raggmopp! - saw a revival of sorts when it was featured in at least one K-Tel TV music album collection in the late 1970's.

Ed left the group to pursue his own career, studying acting at the Herbert Berghoff School, and privately with Tamara Doykharhanova, Lee Strasberg, and Milton Katselas. His first starring role was in an Off-Broadway production of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," going on to starring performances in "The Fantasticks" and "Carnival." Finally he had his biggest hit as a stage actor, in the play "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

Talent scouts at 20th Century Fox saw Ed in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and invited him to co-star in the 'Daniel Boone (TV series)'. During his four seasons on this program, he returned to singing, making such hit recordings as
  • "Try to Remember"
  • "My Cup Runneth Over"
  • "Who Will Answer?"
  • "Apologize"
  • "When the Snow Is on the Roses"

One of the most memorable moments of the The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson came when Ed Ames appeared on April 29, 1965. During the course of the show, Ed and Johnny were discussing tomahawk throwing, which Ed had developed as a skill for his role of Mingo on the TV show "Daniel Boone". When Ames claimed that he could hit a target from across the room, Johnny asked Ed if he could demonstrate this skill. Ed agreed, and a wood panel with a chalk outline of a cowboy was brought on to the stage. Ed proceeded to throw the tomahawk, which hit the "cowboy" in the tip of the crotch. This led to the longest sustained burst of laughter in the history of the show, and Johnny Carson's famous ad-lib, "I didn't even know you were Jewish!".

While maintaining his career, he attended UCLA, receiving his degree in theater and cinema arts, with highest honors, in 1975.
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