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Edgar Bergen 1937

Edgar Bergen 1937

Ventriloquist and radio and movie star Edgar Bergen was born in Chicago in 1903 as the son of Swedish immigrants. He real name at birth was Edgar John Berggren. His childhood years were spent in Decatur, Michigan but he returned to Chicago at age 16 to attend Lakeview High School. He commissioned a Chicago wood carver to make the head for his dummy Charlie McCarthy based on the likeness and personality of a "rascal" Irish newspaper boy that Bergen knew. Bergen lived across the steet from the Waveland Avenue Congregational Church and it was there that he gave his first public performance with Charlie. Bergen took classes at Northwestern University and by 1937 he and Charlie had their own network radio show called The Chase and Sanborn Radio Hour. Bergen and his wife Frances Westerman Bergen were the parents of film and TV actress Candice Bergen. Edgar died in October 2006 at the age of 84 only hours after closing a show in Las Vegas. In 1991, the United States Postal Service honored him with a 29-cent commemorative stamp.

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