Photo of Rodney Dangerfield Rodney Dangerfield

Sweating, twitching and perpetually tugging at his tie, Rodney Dangerfield developed a comic persona that was at once bellicose and neurotic -- a decent but malcontented everyman who disdains the snobbery around him.

Born Nov. 22, 1921, in Babylon, N.Y., the bug-eyed comic began performing his stand-up routine when he was 19. But at age 28, Dangerfield quit comedy to support his family and didn't return to the stage until 1963. His big break came on "The Ed Sullivan Show" when he made the famously deadpan host crack up.

This time Dangerfield's showbiz career stuck, and his act became a fixture on the nightclub circuit. Nearing 60, he made his first big film splash as the insult-hurling, nouveau-riche Al Czervik in Caddyshack (1980). More films followed, including Easy Money (1983), Back to School (1986) and Natural Born Killers (1994). Dangerfield died in Los Angeles Oct. 5, 2004.

Rodney Dangerfield in Natural Born Killers: Director's Cut

Natural Born Killers: Director's Cut

1994 NR

Director Oliver Stone's stark satire of media and murder still generates controversy. Mickey and Mallory Knox (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, respectively) hit the road on an interstate killing spree that triggers a manhunt and garners amazing ratings for a tabloid TV star (Robert Downey Jr.). Shocking, bloody and relentlessly violent, Stone's visually frenetic film makes a chilling statement about the American cultural landscape.

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