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Twelve years ago, we lost a great American with a story that went far beyond on-stage entertainment. Rodney Monroe, a.k.a. Rodney Dangerfield died today at the age of 80.
Once upon a time, Rodney Dangerfield was performing stand-up comedy in Hollywood when one of his comedy partners suddenly decided he was ready to quit. Rodney explained the math and took over the stage act.
And stand-up comedy led to movie roles, TV and eventually a spot in the comedy act of future world heavyweight boxing champion, Evander Holyfield,
Miraculously, Rodney never considered going into a more serious career until one of his comic acts with comedian Bobcat Goldthwait almost put him over the edge. In a notorious scene in the film “Bad News Bears” that Rodney was in, the comic actor randomly punches his character’s father in the chest, half of his face and ribs.
Instead of going into a more serious career, Rodney decided to embark on a character career and his biggest role, comedian Rodney Dangerfield, lived to be a mere 168 years old. Rodney told me that he was indeed physically tired in this film “Bad News Bears” but he said he was exhausted by it. He would be in the hospital many times during production and he even had a four-day hospital stay back in the 1980s. Still, the Oscar winning actor and comedian never let that stop him.
Rodney Dangerfield was also highly dedicated to family. He married three times, had six kids and he also wrote a great book called “All I Really Want to Do,” which won the Silver Screen Reel Award in 1996. Rodney’s longtime partner, Frank Loesser, called the book one of his favorite reading experiences.
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