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Johnny Silver
Johnny Silver in The Munsters 1966.jpg
Johnny Silver in The Munsters 1966
John Silverman

April 16, 1918
East Chicago, Indiana
DiedFebruary 1, 2003(2003-02-01) (aged 84)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California
OccupationActor and Singer
Years active1932–1995
Gloria Manos
(m. 1954; died 1993)

Johnny Silver (born John Silverman; April 16, 1918 – February 1, 2003) was an American actor and singer, best known for playing Benny Southstreet in Guys and Dolls.


Born in East Chicago, Indiana, Silver's performing arts career started early, singing as a youth, and then expanded to acting. His early career involved performing with actor John Raitt at L.A. City College[1] as well as radio work.[2] He also worked as a burlesque comic.[3]

During World War II, Silver was tasked with finding entertainment for the troops,[4] and as a result, he met singer Mario Lanza.[2][3] Silver helped Lanza secure a part in a play written by Peter Lind Hayes and Frank Loesser, On the Beam,[4] and together they performed a number of variety acts for the troops.[2][1][3]

Following the war, Silver moved to New York, and his big break came when he was cast as Benny Southstreet in Loesser's Broadway musical, Guys and Dolls, in 1950.[1] He reprised the role for the film adaptation five years later.[5]

Over the next 40 years, Silver worked prolifically as a character actor in film and on television. His film credits include Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? (1963), The Great Race (1965), Lepke (1975), History of the World, Part I (1981) and Spaceballs (1987). Among his dozens of television credits, he appeared in seven episodes of Make Room for Daddy, 15 episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show, six episodes of Mannix and five episodes of The Odd Couple. He also played the parts of Dr Blinky and Ludicrous Lion in H.R. Pufnstuf (Walker Edmiston provided the voices). His final television role was in 1995 in an episode of Seinfeld.

He was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance in the 1967 episode of Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, Free of Charge.[1]

Personal Life and Death

Silver was married to actress Gloria Manos from 1954 until her death in 1993. The couple had two daughters, Stephanie and Jennie.

Silver died of heart and kidney failure on February 1, 2003, at the age of 84.[1]

Partial filmography


Year Title Role Notes
1955 Guys and Dolls Benny Southstreet
1957 Public Pigeon No. One Marvin Uncredited
1963 Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? Charlie
1965 The Great Race Baker Uncredited
1968 The Thomas Crown Affair Bert Uncredited
1968 How Sweet It Is! Zipper Man
1970 Pufnstuf Dr Blinky/Ludicrous Lion
1972 Hammer Tiny
1975 Lepke Schwartz
1981 History of the World, Part I Small Liar – The Roman Empire
1987 Spaceballs Caddy
1991 Shakes the Clown Clown Tailor


Year Title Role Notes
1950 NBC Television Opera Theatre Various 3 episodes
1954 The Lone Wolf Johnny Fr'Instance Episode: Skid Row
1956–57 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Various 2 episodes
1957 The Millionaire Frankie Episode: The Chris Daniels Story
1957 Leave it to Beaver Man on Bridge Episode: The Clubhouse
1955–57 The Jack Benny Program Various 3 episodes
1957 Date with the Angels Mr Carter Episode: A Day at the Track
1958 Bat Masterson Drummer Episode: Double Trouble in Trinidad
1959 Bachelor Father Charlie Episode: Bentley's Economy Wave
1959 World of Giants Chick Crescent Episode: Off Beat
1959–60 The Untouchables Various 2 episodes
1960 M Squad J.C. Grevy Episode: Needle in a Haystack
1956–61 Make Room for Daddy Various 7 episodes
1963 The Andy Griffith Show Prothro Hanson Episode: The Great Filling Station Robbery
1964 Burke's Law Various 2 episodes
1964 The Rogues Boots Rafferty Episode: The Personal Touch
1964 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour Ben Episode: Memo from Purgatory
1961–65 The Joey Bishop Show Various 5 episodes
1963–65 The Dick Van Dyke Show Various 15 episodes
1964–66 The Munsters Various 2 episodes
1966 Bonanza Snowden Episode: Horse of a Different Hue
1966 The F.B.I. Various 2 episodes
1966–67 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Various 2 episodes
1968 Good Morning World John Episode: Pot Luckless
1966–68 That Girl Various 3 episodes
1968 Get Smart Jojo Episode: The Secret of Sam Vittorio
1969–70 H.R. Pufnstuf Dr Blinky/Ludicrous Lion 17 episodes
1970 The Name of the Game Various 2 episodes
1971 Sarge Freddy Episode: The Silent Target
1971 What's a Nice Girl Like You...? Louis TV movie
1962–72 My Three Sons Various 4 episodes
1971–72 Here's Lucy Various 2 episodes
1967–72 Ironside Various 4 episodes
1970–72 McCloud Various 2 episodes
1973 Maude Various 2 episodes (one of which was uncredited)
1969–74 Mannix Various 6 episodes
1970–75 The Odd Couple Various 5 episodes (one of which was uncredited)
1973–75 Adam-12 Various 2 episodes
1973–75 The Streets of San Francisco Various 2 episodes
1978 Columbo Tow Truck Driver Episode: The Conspirators
1979 Delta House Pizza Man Episode: The Blotto Who Came to Dinner
1980 Barney Miller Kingman Episode: Homicide Part 1
1981 Evita Peron Stage Manager TV movie
1984 ABC Weekend Special Leon Episode: Henry Hamilton Graduate Ghost
1984 Alice Shorty Episode: Undercover Mel
1985 1st & Ten Tinoretto Episode: Super Bull Sunday
1986 Matlock Eddie Alonzo Episode: The Don Part 1
1986–88 Cagney & Lacey Various 2 episodes
1995 Seinfeld Vendor #1 Episode: The Understudy


  1. ^ a b c d e "Johnny Silver". Variety. 18 February 2003. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Bret, David (2009). Mario Lanza: Sublime Serenade. ISBN 9781781313442. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Mannering, Derek (1991). Mario Lanza: Singing to the Gods. ISBN 9781496802668. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  4. ^ a b Cesari, Armando (2004). Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy. ISBN 9781880909669. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Guys and Dolls". Variety. 2 November 1955. Retrieved 19 February 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 April 2021, at 18:34
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