Arnold Stang (born September 28, 1925 in Chelsea, Massachusetts) is a comic actor who plays a small and bespectacled, yet brash and knowing big-city type. Never known as a solo performer (despite the existence of an unsold television pilot called The Arnold Stang Show), he works best in, and prefers, an ensemble cast in which he plays only one of a diverse group of comic characters.
On radio, he was popular in the 1940s as a sidekick to cantankerous comedian Henry Morgan---whenever Morgan wasn't driving himself off the air after zapping one sponsor or network official too many. During television's so-called Golden Age, Stang became something of a star as a sidekick on Milton Berle's groundbreaking Texaco Star Theater. In film, he played Sparrow in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) alongside Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak. In It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) he played Ray, who along with his partner Irwin (played by Marvin Kaplan) owns a gas station that is destroyed by Jonathan Winters. He appeared in Hello Down There (1969). In one of the weirdest-ever movie pairings, he was teamed with the young Arnold Schwarzenegger (billed as "Arnold Strong") in the latter's first film, the camp classic Hercules in New York (1970). As a voice actor for animated cartoons, he provided the voice for Popeye's pal Shorty (who looked somewhat like Stang as it was), Herman the mouse in a number of Famous Studios cartoons, the famous Hanna-Barbera lead character Top Cat (modeled explicitly on Phil Silvers's popular television character as scheming, wisecracking Sgt. Bilko), and Catfish on Misterjaw. He also provided many extra voices for the Cartoon Network series, Courage the Cowardly Dog. In television commercials, he was spokesman for the Chunky candy bar, when he would (after listing most of the ingredients) smile and say, "Chunky, what a chunk of chocolate!" He provided the voice of the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee in the 1980s and also spoke for Vicks Vapo-Rub. Stang also appeared on an episode of "The Cosby Show" with guest star Sammy Davis Jr. In one TV ad he played Luther Burbank, proudly showing off his newly-invented "square tomato" to fit neatly in typical square slices of commercial bread, then being informed that the advertising bakery had beat him to it by producing round loaves of bread. He played the photographer in Dennis The Menace. Read Full Bio >>
Arnold and his wife Joanne reside in New Rochelle, New York. Joanne Stang is a writer for the New York Times.
Stang began his career at the age of nine, in such radio shows as Let's Pretend, but playing in dramas and mysteries as what he once called "little killers," according to radio historian Gerald Nachman (Raised on Radio). He told Nachman that he knew his voice was his meal-ticket. "I'm kind of attached to it," he quipped to Nachman. "My personal logo. It's like Jell-O or Xerox." He also told Nachman that the bulk of his fan mail doesn't even address his film or television work, even though Top Cat still appears periodically on cable television and Berle's show became such an icon. "All about my radio career," he said. << Less Bio