Bob Elliott (comedian)

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Bob Elliott
Bob Elliott.JPG
Elliott on Monitor in 1960.
Robert Brackett Elliott

(1923-03-26)March 26, 1923
DiedFebruary 2, 2016(2016-02-02) (aged 92)
OccupationActor, comedian
Years active1951–2008
  • Jane Underwood(m. 19431953)
  • Lee Peppers
    (m. 1954;died 2012)

Robert Brackett "Bob" Elliott (March 26, 1923 – February 2, 2016) was an American actor and comedian, one-half of the comedy duo of Bob and Ray. He was the father of comedian/actor Chris Elliott and grandfather of actress and comedians Abby Elliott and Bridey Elliott. He is most remembered by the character of radio reporter Wally Ballou. [1]


Life and career

Elliott was born in Winchester, Massachusetts, [2] the son of Gail Marguarite (née Brackett), a needleworker, and Fred Russell Elliott, who worked in insurance. [3] Bob Elliott served In the U.S. Army in Northern Europe in WWII. On radio, he appeared in programs with his long-time partner Ray Goulding. These were in different series and time slots over decades, beginning in the late 1940s at Boston's WHDH radio on the show Matinee with Bob and Ray. [4]

"The funniest people in this country, these guys are also two of the keenest observers of the American scene and the finest interviewers in the business." [5]

David Letterman said of the duo prior to one interview.

Bob and Ray in a publicity photo with Tedi Thurman for Monitor, where all were program regulars Bob and Ray Tedi Thurman Monitor.gif
Bob and Ray in a publicity photo with Tedi Thurman for Monitor , where all were program regulars

Elliott appeared on radio with Garrison Keillor in The American Radio Company of the Air . [1] On television, Elliott and Goulding hosted Bob and Ray show from 1951 to 1953. He appeared on a number of other television programs, including Happy Days ; Newhart ; and Bob & Ray, Jane, Laraine & Gilda in 1979 (with Goulding, Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman and Gilda Radner); The David Steinberg Show ; and Saturday Night Live . [5] In 1982, Elliott was in Author! Author! as Patrick Dicker. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] He would star in made-for-TV-Movie's such as Between Time and Timbuktu and FDR: A One Man Show. Elliott also made television commercials, [12] and co-wrote some humor articles with Ray Goulding for Mad Magazine in the 1950s. [13]

In 1970, the duo debuted in The Two and Only on Broadway. [14] Bob and Goulding worked together up until Goulding's death in 1990. [14] In 1990, Elliott portrayed a bank guard in Quick Change . [15] In 1990, he portrayed "Fred Peterson" in the television series Get a Life , which starred Chris as his son. Four years later, the elder Elliott appeared in the Tim Burton production Cabin Boy , playing Chris' father again. In 2004, he appeared in a skit on the Air America radio program The O'Franken Factor .[ citation needed ]

Personal life

Elliott married Jane Underwood in 1943. They divorced in 1953 having no children. [12] Bob and Ray writer Raymond Knight died in 1953. [16] In 1954, Elliott married Knight's widow, Lee Elliott (née Peppers). They were married for 58 years until her death in 2012. [17] They had two sons, Chris Elliott and Bob Elliott Jr., and one daughter, Amy Andersen. [4] [17] They adopted Lee Elliott and Ray Knight's two children, Colony Elliott Santangelo and Shannon Elliott. [4] They had 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. [4]

In 1989, Elliott co-authored son Chris's mock autobiography, Daddy's Boy: A Son's Shocking Account of Life with a Famous Father. [18]


Elliott died in Cundy's Harbor, Maine on February 2, 2016, from throat cancer at the age of 92. [1]



1959Test Dive BuddiesBob Short film directed by Ed Graham Jr.
1960Kid GlovesBobShort film directed by Ed Graham Jr.
1971 Cold Turkey Hugh Upson/David Chetley/Sandy Van Andy Satirical comedy film directed by Norman Lear.
1980VengeanceLukeDirected and written by Bob Bliss.
1981B.C.: A Special ChristmasPeter (voice) American animated short film directed by Vlad Goetzelman.
1982 Author! Author! Patrick DickerAmerican comedy drama film directed by Arthur Hiller and written by Israel Horovitz.
1984 Kidco Policeman #2Comedy film directed by Ronald F. Maxwell.
1987 The Gnomes' Great Adventure Fred
1990 Quick Change Bank Guard
  • Crime comedy film written by Howard Franklin, produced by and starring Bill Murray, and directed by both.
  • Despite not being a major commercial success, the film was well received critically.
1994 Cabin Boy William Mayweather


1951–53 Bob and Ray Co-Host 15-minute television series on NBC.
1972 Between Time and Timbuktu Bud Williams, Jr.
1976 The David Steinberg Show Guest Episode: "Episode #1.1 (Pilot)"
1978 Saturday Night Live InterviewerEpisode: "Elliott Gould/Peter Tosh"
1979 Happy Days Gil CrawfordEpisode: "Here Comes the Bride, Again"
1981The Steve Allen Comedy Hour Guest Episode: "Episode #1.22"
1985 Trapper John, M.D. Zeke RaineyEpisode: "A False Start"
1986Action FamilyThe Vendor
1987FDR: A One Man ShowMake-Up Man
  • Made-for-TV-Movie
  • Directed by Matt Wickline.
1988 Coming of Age Guest Episode: "Hale to the Chief"
Newhart Bill LoudonEpisode: "I Came, I Saw, I Sat"
1990–92 Get a Life Fred PetersonContract role
1999 LateLine Wally Van HornEpisode: "The Minister of Television"
2008 King of the Hill Edgar HornsbyEpisode: "Square-Footed Monster"

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  2. McLLellan, Dennis (February 3, 2016). "Bob Elliott, half of legendary radio-comedy team Bob and Ray, dies". The Seattle Times . The Seattle Times Company . Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  3. "Fred Russell Elliott". . Permira and co-investors. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
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  11. Wilson, John (2005). The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN   0-446-69334-0.
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  14. 1 2 Bacle, Ariana (February 3, 2016). "Comedian Bob Elliott dies at 92". Entertainment Weekly . Time Inc. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  15. "Quick Change". Rotten Tomatoes . Flixster. July 13, 1990. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  16. "Raymond Knight". LA Times . Tribune Publishing . Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  17. 1 2 The New York Times Staff (April 29, 2012). "Lee K. Elliott". The New York Times . The New York Times Company . Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  18. Elliott, Chris; Elliott, Bob (1989). Daddy's Boy: A Son's Shocking Account of Life with a Famous Father. Dell Publishing. ISBN   978-0385297301.
  19. Crain, Zac (November 25, 1999). "Handsome Dan, Automator Man". Miami New Times . Voice Media Group . Retrieved February 3, 2016.

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