Photo of Jack Benny Jack Benny

Born Benjamin Kubelsky in Waukegan, Ill., on Feb. 14, 1894, Jack Benny began his career as a comedic movie actor in the 1930s and '40s but found his niche as a television host, a role he performed faithfully for nearly 15 years from 1950 to 1965 as star of "The Jack Benny Program."

The show, which captured Benny's interactions with an assorted cast of comedic regulars, won the actor two Emmy awards and a pair of Emmy nominations and also helped cement his reputation as one of the most beloved public personas of the 20th century.

Benny had less time for film work in the 1960s and '70s but managed to turn in small roles in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), A Guide for the Married Man (1967) and The Man (1972). He died on Dec. 26, 1974, at the age of 80.

Jack Benny in To Be or Not to Be

To Be or Not to Be

1942 NR

This 1942 comedy manages to eke out barrels of laughs from a contentious time in history, World War II. Joseph Tura (Jack Benny) leads a ragtag band of actors in Poland who come to the aid of an American soldier (Robert Stack) who needs help carrying out his work in the Resistance efforts. But it turns out that Tura's wife (Carole Lombard) is having an affair with the military man, which severely undercuts Tura's sympathies for the soldier.

  • Jack Benny in The Jack Benny Show The Jack Benny Show
  • Jack Benny in Without Reservations Without Reservations
  • Jack Benny in Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
  • Jack Benny in The Century That Made America Great The Century That Made America Great
  • Jack Benny in Jack Benny Collection Jack Benny Collection
  • Jack Benny in Merv Griffin: 40 Interesting People Merv Griffin: 40 Interesting People
  • Jack Benny in Here's Lucy: Season 1 Here's Lucy: Season 1
  • Jack Benny in John Wayne's Tribute to America John Wayne's Tribute to America
  • Jack Benny in Make 'Em Laugh Make 'Em Laugh