Rich Little


About

Also Known As
The Man Of A Thousand Voices, Richard Caruthers Little
Born
November 26, 1938

Biography

Rich Little was a Canadian-American impressionist and voice actor whose talent for impersonating famous figures made him a household name in the the 1960s and '70s. Born Richard Caruthers Little on November 26, 1938 in Ottawa, Ontario, he was the middle child of Elizabeth and Lawrence Peniston Little. As a teenager, Little began his ascent into the entertainment industry by performing at...

Biography

Rich Little was a Canadian-American impressionist and voice actor whose talent for impersonating famous figures made him a household name in the the 1960s and '70s. Born Richard Caruthers Little on November 26, 1938 in Ottawa, Ontario, he was the middle child of Elizabeth and Lawrence Peniston Little. As a teenager, Little began his ascent into the entertainment industry by performing at night clubs. He partnered with future Canadian Member of Parliament Geoffrey Scott, who was then also a budding impressionist; true to Scott's future career, the duo specialized in political humor, imitating the voices of Canadian politicians such as Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. As his vocal impersonations improved, Little felt confident enough to embark on an acting career and joined the Ottawa's Little Theater. He also took his talents to the radio, becoming a successful disc jockey who frequently incorporated celebrity impersonations into his programs. Little received his first big break when American jazz musician Mel Tormé asked the 25-year-old to audition for a new variety show that he was producing for the legendary Judy Garland. Within a year, he made his American television debut on "The Judy Garland Show" (CBS, 1963-64). With the door now open to more possibilities, Little made appearances in several other American television shows. In 1968, he played the clumsy Brother Paul Leonardi alongside Sally Field in two episodes of the sitcom "The Flying Nun" (ABC 1967-1970). His impressive impersonations of famous of Hollywood stars and famous figures, most notably President Richard Nixon, made him a popular guest on variety and late night talk shows. "The Tonight Show" (NBC 1954- ) host Johnny Carson was both a fan and a frequent target of Little's impersonations; the impressionist appeared on the series over 20 times during Carson's reign on the late night institution. (He later appeared as Carson in "The Night Shift" (HBO 1996), a TV movie about the battle between Jay Leno and David Letterman to succeed Carson as "Tonight Show" host.) He was also a regular guest on the Emmy-winning variety series "The Julie Andrews Hour" (ABC 1972-73) and "The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast" (NBC 1974-84), where Little's knack for impersonating the guests of honor fit perfectly with the show's theme; Little appeared as a roaster more than any other person with a total of 24 appearances. Later on, the talented impressionist ventured into his own solo television career with the short-lived series "The Rich Little Show" (NBC 1976) and the one-man special "Rich Little's Christmas Carol" (HBO 1978). During this era, he also became a familiar presence in television commercials. As the years went on, Little continued to adapt his impersonations to the times, learning to imitate President Ronald Reagan, Sylvester Stallone, and Robin Williams. In his native Canada, he lent his voice to the popular animated series "The Raccoons" (CBC, 1985-1991), and was inducted to Canada's Walk of Fame in 1998. In 2007, a year after political comedian Stephen Colbert garnered outrage for his pointed lambasting of President George W. Bush at the White House Correspondents Association dinner, Little was chosen as a non-controversial host for the event.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

The Other Side of the Wind (2018)
Grudge Match (2013)
The Brainiacs.com (2000)
The Late Shift (1996)
Bebe's Kids (1992)
Voice
Happy Hour (1987)
Mr X
The Canadian Conspiracy (1986)
Better Off Dead (1985)
Curse of the Pink Panther (1983)
Voice
Dirty Tricks (1981)
Robert Brennan
Another Nice Mess (1972)
Richie, the president
The Phynx (1970)
Voice in box

Special Thanks (Feature Film)

Little Man Tate (1991)
Thanks

Cast (Special)

The Ed Sullivan All-Star Comedy Special (1995)
Hal Roach: Hollywood's King of Laughter (1994)
More of the Best of the Hollywood Palace (1993)
Laurel & Hardy: A Tribute to the Boys (1992)
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (1992)
The Very Best of The Ed Sullivan Show -- II (1991)
Children's Miracle Network Telethon (1991)
The 24th Annual Victor Awards (1990)
Performer
Night of 100 Stars III (1990)
Starathon '90 (1990)
Rodney Dangerfield "Opening Night at Rodney's Place" (1989)
John Wayne Standing Tall (1989)
National Basketball Players Association Awards (1989)
Performer
United We Stand (1988)
Making It Happen (1988)
Super Picnic '87 (1987)
All-Star Party For Joan Collins (1987)
We the People 200: The Constitutional Gala (1987)
An All-Star Tribute to General Jimmy Doolittle (1986)
The 50th Presidential Inaugural Gala (1985)
An All-Star Party for "Dutch" Reagan (1985)
Rich Little & A Night of 42 Stars (1985)
Rich Little and a Night of 42 Stars (1985)
The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast (1984)
Guest
Rich Little -- Come Laugh With Me (1984)
The Funniest Joke I Ever Heard (1984)
The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast (1984)
Guest
The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast (1984)
The Body Human: The Living Code (1983)
Rich Little's Robin Hood (1983)
Star
In Concert: Rich Little Live (1982)
On Location With Rich Little (1982)
Host
Rich Little's A Christmas Carol (1982)
Star
The Rich Little Special (1982)
Host
Nuts and Bolts (1981)
Miles Fenton
Bert Convy Special--There's a Meeting Here Tonight (1981)
Take One Starring Jonathan Winters (1981)
Sinatra: The First 40 Years (1980)
Merry Christmas... With Love, Julie (1979)
Rich Little's Washington Follies (1978)
Host
Perry Como, Las Vegas Style (1976)
Doris Day Today (1975)
The Rich Little Show (1975)
Host
Mitzi and a Hundred Guys (1975)
The Perry Como Christmas Show (1974)
The Many Faces of Comedy (1973)
The Gordon MacRae Show (1971)

Writer (Special)

Rich Little and a Night of 42 Stars (1985)
Writer
Rich Little -- Come Laugh With Me (1984)
Writer
Rich Little's Robin Hood (1983)
Writer
The Rich Little Special (1982)
Writer
Rich Little's A Christmas Carol (1982)
Writer
On Location With Rich Little (1982)
Writer
In Concert: Rich Little Live (1982)
Writer

Producer (Special)

Rich Little -- Come Laugh With Me (1984)
Executive Producer
Rich Little's Robin Hood (1983)
Executive Producer
On Location With Rich Little (1982)
Executive Producer
In Concert: Rich Little Live (1982)
Executive Producer

Special Thanks (Special)

Rich Little and a Night of 42 Stars (1985)
Writer
Rich Little -- Come Laugh With Me (1984)
Writer
Rich Little's Robin Hood (1983)
Writer
The Rich Little Special (1982)
Writer
Rich Little's A Christmas Carol (1982)
Writer
On Location With Rich Little (1982)
Writer
In Concert: Rich Little Live (1982)
Writer

Life Events

1976

Hosted "The Rich Little Show"

Bibliography