BURL IVES BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Burl Ives was born on June 14th, 1909 in Hunt City, Illinois with the birth name Burle Icle Ivanhoe Ives. He had six siblings and was born into a Scots-Irish farming family to parents, Levi and Cordelia. At the young age of four he had his first chance at experiencing what it was like to sign in front of an audience when he performed for a soldier's reunion.
During high school he learned how to play the banjo and had the intention of pursuing a career as a football coach. He enrolled at Eastern Illinois State Teacher's College in 1927 but never completed his degree.
In the late 1930's, Ives found work in summer stock and was enjoying working as an actor until he was offered a job with CBS radio. Burl began his own radio show called, "The Wayfaring Stranger" and his career progressed with making popular a number of traditional folk songs. He was a member of a singing group called the, Almanac Singers' and they were very active in the American Peace Mobilization (APC) which was a group against the Americans getting involved in World War II. As time progressed their group was renamed and supported the United States involvement in the war effort.
In 1942, Ives was drafted into the United States Army and in 1943 he was discharged for medical reasons. As his career entered the mid 1940's, Ives was cast as a signing cowboy in the film, "Smoky" starring Fred MacMurray, Anne Baxter, J. Farrell MacDonald and Bruce Cabot and he soon had his first musical hit, "Lavender Blue" which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
His career was heading in the right direction with more film roles such as, "East of Eden" (1955) starring James Dean, Julie Harris, Raymond Massey, Richard Davalos and Jo Van Fleet, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" also starring Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Judith Anderson, Jack Carson, Madeleine Sherwood, Larry Gates and Vaughn Taylor, "Desire Under the Elms" co-starring Sophia Loren, Anthony Perkins and Pernell Roberts, "Wind Across the Everglades" with Christopher Plummer, circus clown Emmett Kelly, Peter Falk and Gypsy Rose Lee (all 1958), and "The Big Country" (1958) starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston, Charles Bickford and Chuck Connors, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
In the 60's he decided to turn his focus back to his music and released three songs in 1962, "A Little Bitty Tear", "Call Me Mister In-Between", and "Funny Way of Laughing". He also got more involved working on television. He made a number of appearances in shows such as, "O.K. Crackerby" (1965-1966) and "The Bold Ones" The Lawyers" (1969-1972).
Burl Ives married twice during his lifetime, first to Helen Peck Ehrich from December 6th, 1945 through February 17th, 1971 and together they adopted one son, Alexander. His second marriage was to Dorothy Koster Paul on April 16th, 1971 through April 14th, 1995 when he passed away from mouth cancer in Anacortes, Washington. He had three step children and they were by his side along with his wife when he passed away.
Ives was interred at Mound Cemetery in Jasper County, Illinois. Ives was awarded the University of Pennsylvania Glee Club Award of Merit for his influence on American folk music. Throughout his life he was very involved in a variety of organizations such as, peace academics, Boy Scouts and a number of environmental groups. On June 24th, 1994 he was inducted into the DeMolay Hall of Fame.
1988 Two Moon Junction
1987 Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story
1986 Uphill All the Way
1984 The Ewok Adventure
1982 White Dog
1979 Just You and Me, Kid
1978 The New Adventures of Heidi
1978 The Bermuda Depths
1976 Baker's Hawk
1976 Little House on the Prairie
1976 Captains and the Kings
1976 The First Easter Rabbit
1975 Hugo the Hippo
1972 Rod Serling's Night Gallery
1971-1972 Alias Smith and Jones
1969-1972 The Bold Ones: The Lawyers
1970 The Man Who Wanted to Live Forever
1970 The McMasters
1969 Daniel Boone
1968 The Sound of Anger
1968 Hallmark Hall of Fame
1968 The Name of the Game
1968 The Other Side of Bonnie and Clyde
1968 The Red Skelton Hour
1967 Those Fantastic Flying Fools
1967 NBC Children's Theatre
1966 The Daydreamer
1965-1966 O.K. Crackerby!
1964 Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
1964 Ensign Pulver
1964 The Brass Bottle
1964 I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
1963 Summer Magic
1962 The Spiral Road
1960 Zane Grey Theatre
1960 Let No Man Write My Epitaph
1959 Our Man in Havana
1956-1959 G.E. True Theater
1959 Day of the Outlaw
1958 The Big Country
1958 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
1958 Wind Across the Everglades
1958 Desire Under the Elms
1957 Playhouse 90
1957 The United States Steel Hour
1956 The Power and the Prize
1955 East of Eden
1948 So Dear to My Heart
1948 Station West
1948 Green Grass of Wyoming