Friday, November 20, 2009

Jack Benny and Friends From Life

From the LIFE archives, here's Jack Benny and a few close personal friends. I recognize Van Johnson and Paul Douglas along with Dennis Day, Mel Blanc, Mary Livingstone, Phil Harris and Don Wilson. Might be the Sportsmen Quartet in there, too, and maybe Phil's band (which wasn't really Phil's band exactly but that's another story.) Hard to estimate the date of the pic, however, as it seems to have been snapped on the occasion of jack's 39th birthday celebration...and as everyone knows, that was an annual occurrence!


  1. ok Steve
    you need to fill me in on the Phil Harris band. I am huge Jack Benny fan and listen to the shows all the time.

    Jim Hendrickson

  2. Sadly, if that picture was taken in a country club in the 1950s, Rochester would not have been allowed in.

  3. This is a Life magazine photo taken during a February 1958 taping of a Shower of Stars special which was to celebrate Benny's "40th birthday". Rochester is not in the picture because Eddie Anderson had just suffered a mild heart attack and been taken to the hospital. Anyone that knows Jack Benny would know he wouldn't have allowed or tolerated any prejudice against Eddie Anderson. He and this crew were know for moving in bulk out of any hotel, restaurant etc that would not let Eddie Anderson in.

    See "Sad event before a party and a lonely jokester". Life (Time, Inc.) 44 (8): 108. February 24, 1958.