Jack Carter, the rapid-fire, wisecracking comic who was a familiar presence on ’50s and ’60s variety shows from The Ed Sullivan Show to Laugh-In, died June 28 of respiratory failure at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 93.
During a long career that began shortly after World War II and ranged from Broadway through the early days of television to, most recently, appearances on Showtime’s Shameless, Carter served as a TV host, took on both comedic and dramatic roles, frequently showed up as a game show panelist and also directed.
Born Jack Charkin on June 24, 1922, to Jewish parents who had immigrated from Russia, Carter began flexing his comic muscles while still in his teens, appearing as a mimic on The Major Bowes Amateur Hour radio show. With hopes of one day becoming a dramatic actor, he also attended the Academy of Dramatic Art.
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