Art Carney Dead at 85 -- The Honeymooners...

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Sean Mota

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Sep 8, 2003
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One of my favorite shows without a doubt...The Honeymooners...


Art Carney, who won seven Emmys and an Academy Award but will always be remembered as Jackie Gleason's pal Norton in "The Honeymooners," has died at age 85 in Chester, Conn., of natural causes.

Mr. Carney, who most recently was living in a nursing home, appeared on TV, screen and Broadway during a career that spanned seven decades. He last appeared on the big screen in a supporting role in "Last Action Hero" in 1993 and on the small screen as the star of a made-for-TV movie called "Where Pigeons Go to Die" in 1990.

The image of Mr. Carney that will live on forever in reruns is that of the not-too-bright sewer worker and best friend of Mr. Gleason's Ralph Kramden. He wore a turned up porkpie hat, a slightly dirty white T-shirt and an open vest when in character, greeting his best friend and neighbor with his shout of "Hey, Ralphie boy."

Norton was always getting caught up in Kramden's schemes, adding his own signature approach to every situation, usually with an exaggerated style that would make his buddy crazy.

Mr. Gleason often said that Mr. Carney's great skill as an actor made him work harder and be better at what he did. Mr. Carney went on to a successful film career in the 1970s in hits such as "The Late Show," "House Calls" and "Harry and Tonto," for which he won an Oscar as Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1974.

Mr. Carney was born Arthur William Matthew Carney in Mount Vernon, N.Y, Nov. 4, 1918, into an Irish Catholic family. His father was a journalist and a publicist. He began his career in amateur theatricals and got his first professional job in 1937 with Horace Heidt's band, where he did impressions of popular radio personalities and sang novelty songs.

He married his childhood sweetheart and then divorced her. He later broke up with his second wife and remarried his first wife. He had three children.
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