Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives (June 14, 1909 – April 14, 1995) was an American actor, writer and folk music singer. As an actor, Ives's work included comedies, dramas, and voice work in theater, television, and motion pictures. Music critic John Rockwell said, "Ives's voice ... had the sheen and finesse of opera without its latter-day Puccinian vulgarities and without the pretensions of operatic ritual. It was genteel in expressive impact without being genteel in social conformity. And it moved people. In the 1960s Ives began singing country music with greater frequency. In 1962 he released three songs that were popular with both country music and popular music fans: "A Little Bitty Tear", "Call Me Mister In-Between", and "Funny Way of Laughing". Ives had several film and television roles during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1962 he starred with Rock Hudson in The Spiral Road, which was based on a novel of the same name by Jan de Hartog. In 1964, he played the genie in the movie The Brass Bottle with Tony Randall and Barbara Eden. Also in 1964, Ives played the narrator, Sam the Snowman, in the Rankin-Bass stop-motion animated television special, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The yearly rebroadcast of the popular seasonal television special has forever linked Ives to the Christmas season. Ives was a renowned pipe smoker; the cover of his first album depicted a pipe and a fishing hat with the words "Burl Ives" in between. He also smoked cigars. In the summer of 1994 he was diagnosed with oral cancer after being hospitalized for back surgery. After several operations he decided against having further surgery. In April 1995 he fell into a coma. Ives died of complications of mouth cancer on April 14, 1995 at his home in Anacortes, Washington he is interred in Mound Cemetery in Hunt City Township, Jasper County, Illinois.- first track From the April 22, 1970 edition of "The Johnny Cash Show, /Ghost Riders In The Sky This Is The first recording of this great song.
Burl Ives in 1955, photo by Carl Van Vechten
|Born||Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives|
June 14, 1909
Hunt City, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||April 14, 1995 (aged 85)|
Anacortes, Washington, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, singer, writer|
|Spouse||Helen Peck Ehrich (1945–71)|
Dorothy Koster Paul (1971–95)