Don Ameche Biography (1908-1993)

Born Dominic Felix Amici on May 31, 1908, in Kenosha, WI; died of prostate cancer, December 6, 1993, in Scottsdale, AZ. Actor. After a minor role on Broadway and a short stint in vaudeville, Ameche became a popular Chicago radio actor, performing on such programs as Grand Hotel and The First Nighter. Undercontract with Twentieth Century-Fox beginning in the mid-1930s, Ameche made numerous films with the production company, including One in a Million, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Heaven Can Wait, and the Raymond Griffith production of The Three Musketeers. Filmmakers often capitalized on his melodic voice and good looks, casting him as leading men opposite such actresses as Betty Grable,Claudette Colbert, Loretta Young, and--most frequently--Alice Faye. Ameche made his mark in biographical films of the late 1930s, playing songwriter Stephen Foster in Swanee River and the title role in the warmly received Story ofAlexander Graham Bell. He also showed his versatility by performing in musicals on both the screen and on stage and considered the opening of Silk Stockings on Broadway in 1955 one of his greatest thrills. During the 1960s and 1970s, as his career in film entered a dormant stage, Ameche starred in touringproductions of the musicals No, No, Nanette and Good News, which reunited himwith his frequent film costar Faye. He also hosted a popular television program, International Showtime, which spotlighted circus acts from around the world. His film career was revived in 1983 with a small, well-received part inthe comedy Trading Places, which led to a starring role in the comedy Cocoon.Ameche's performance in the latter film, about a group of elderly people whoare rejuvenated with some help from space aliens, earned him an Academy Award. In the late 1980s, in addition to reviving the role in a sequel, Ameche won the best actor award at the Venice Film Festival, along with costar Joe Mantegna, for his performance as a swindler in Things Change. In the 1990s Ameche provided the voice of the dog Shadow in the Disney film Homeward Bound: TheIncredible Journey, starred with Tom Selleck in the comedy Folks!, and appeared in Corrina, Corrina with Whoopi Goldberg and Ray Liotta.

Birth Details
May 31, 1908
Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States
Death Details
December 6, 1993
Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

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