The life that he lead
Now this is one of the few pages that all I will do is write about The
life that Edgar Bergen lead. Now I will not use exact dates because
the source of information that I got this from did not have dates.
I hope that this page will help you to learn about this wonderful life.
Edgar Bergen was always shy. His real name
was Edgar Bergren, he was the second son of Swedish immigrants. He was
born in Chicago and grew up at a dairy farm in Decatur, Michigan.
Edgar loved to spend most of his time traveling with Void Vile Shows.
When he was 11 he sent 25 cents and got a book on vantrilquseime.
Edgar Bergren was only 16 when his dad John Bergren died, after John's
death the family moved back to Chicago. Then Bergen worked part time
at a Silent Movie house. He hand made his first dummies and performed
at Church socials and other places were the town got together.
But it was in Ms. Angel's history class that he doodled Charlie.
He patterned Charlie after a wise craken
Irish news boy in Decatur. He gave his sceatch and $27.00 to Theodore
Mac the local bar tender and amateur wood carver. Charlie
got his last name McCarthy, after Theodore (Bergen got McCarthy from Mac).
Bergen spent the next 10 years with a traveling Circus that went to Chatacua and Lyceum as a Magician, cartoonist, and ventriloquist. While he was with the Circus a man suggested that he should shorten his last name, so Edgar Bergren became Edgar Bergen. His mother Nell Bergren would much rather see her son in collage then in a Circus so Edgar spent two years at North Western University. Then he went back to the Circus. He did his act first for children, then for adults, and soom became "highly respected". Edgar Bergan was the first ventriloquist to perform at New York's Place Theater. Edgar said that the 10 years that he spent in the Circus were the best years of his life.
Edgar worked at the Place Theater for a while and it was during encore acts that he made Mortimer Snerd. Mortimer would be the only character to make Charlie jealous. "Mortimer is a combination of week features." said Edgar, all Charlie had to say was "I just feel sorry for him.". The big opening to Charlie and Edgar Bergen's act was at a night club.
Over night Charlie McCarthy became a house hold name. Charlie started out famous then Edgar. At first Edgar was not welcome at parties without Charlie. Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy were on the radio every Sunday night and listening to the show became a Sunday night ritchual. His first proformance on the air was: Rudy Vallee's Royal Gelatin Hour, NBC radio show. Most people thought that it must be hard for such a privet man to lead such a public life. When Nell Bergren died at the age of 40 the only other women in Edgar's life was Effie Clinker an old maid that he had turned into a dummy. Soon not only was Edgar on the radio, he also got in the 1943 moral boosting film of Stage Door Canteen. Then in 1942 Edgar and Charlie worked with Jimmy Stuert.
At one a performance Edgar saw a pair of legs in the audience. At the end of his show he wanted to know who the girl with the long legs was. The lucky girl that would put an end to Edgar Bergen's 40 years of bachelor-hood was Frances Western. It was on a fishing trip that Edgar asked her to marry him. The couple were secretly wed in Mexico with two witnesses who did not speak a word of English. It was hard but they managed to keep there wedding a secret for 5 months. It took a while for Frances to get used to having Charlie as her "son". The only thing that was bad about their marriage was that there were long separations while Edgar and Charlie were gone on business.
Edgar also loved to fly in his plane. Onc he was in his plane flying over Palm Springs when he got a message telling him to come home, his wife was in labor at Hollywood Prespateriean Hospital. When his daughter Candice (Candy) was born she took over Charlie's room which had a little bed and some chairs for Charlie. Now the place where you could find Charlie was under Edgar's bed or in a closet. When Candy got older Edgar let her preform in a few of his shows. When Candy was an adult she wrote the book Knock Wood, about how life was for her growing up with Charlie. Candy said "When I was young the happiest moments of my life were with my Dad and Charlie on stage.". One of the odd things that went on were family videos, which resembled screen tests. Dispite her famous father Candy was not spoiled the way that most famous children are. She had chores and other things that normal kids did.
A few years later Edgar Bergen got on a T.V show. It was in this T.V show that he made a new dummy Podine Puffington, however there is not allot of information on Podine. A lot people think that Mortimer Snerd was Edgar's favorite dummy, even if he had owned Charlie the longest. "Mortimer is stupid but he has an advantage over us, he knows he's stupid," Edgar Bergen once said. Edgar had a game show with Charlie and Mortimer called "Can you trust your wife?" but this show only lasted for one year. After a good 20 years Edgar retired from the radio.
When he was 60 Edgar had a son named Chris. It was one of the best things that had ever happened to him. Chris never got the attention from Charlie, Mortimer and all of the other characters like Candy did, Chris and Edger were unsepritable. Candy was not forgoten, she went on The Muppet Show and her apperence was soon followed by her fathers.
It was on September 21, 1978 that Edgar said that he would retire after a fair well tour in Las Verges, and Charlie would go on perment display at the Smithsonian. Near the end of his life Edger forgot his lines and missed his punch lines. He also he would lose some of his memory. When he did his last show he was able to get back into the swing of things. The next morning Frances found that he had died in his sleep. She said that it looked like a smile was on his face. "I think that he was taken at the right time," said Chris Bergan. The sad thing is that when Edger died Charlie and all of the others died too, Edgar was no longer there to breath life into them.
I hope that my biography gave you some information that you did not know. If there is some thing that you know that I happened to leave out please E-mail me!