Edgar John Bergen was born on 16 February 1903, in Chicago, Illinois USA, of part- Swedish descent, and was an actor, radio performer, and comedian, but best known for his ventriloquist ability, utilizing the personas of Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. All of his efforts helped put his net worth to where it was prior to his passing in 1978.
How rich was Edgar Bergen? As of mid-2017, sources estimate a net worth that was at $2 million, earned through success in his numerous endeavors. He also had many famous vaudeville acts, and made appearances in a variety of films. All of these achievements ensured the position of his wealth.
Edgar Bergen Net Worth $2 million
Edgar grew up on a farm and later spent time in Sweden. He learned ventriloquism at a young age, meantime attending Lake View High School. He then worked at various odd jobs, such as an apprentice accountant, and projectionist in a silent movie house. He was given lessons in ventriloquism and in 1919, paid for his first wood sculpt, naming the dummy Charlie McCarthy which became his lifelong sidekick. After matriculating, he attended Northwestern University and enrolled in a pre-med program. He later switched to Speech & Drama, but never completed his degree. He started doing performances consistently during the early 1920s.
Bergen initially worked in vaudeville, and was also a part of various movie shorts. He really found popularity on radio, and his success helped open up more opportunities for him, increasing his net worth significantly. He was then given a regular cast roll in “The Chase and Sanborn Hour”. He and Charlie carried the show, and soon he would create other characters too, including Mortimer Snerd and Effie Clinker though Charlie remained the star. He was very technically skilled, both in ventriloquism and comedic timing, and was certainly recognized for this skill. In 1948 he temporarily retired from radio after facing competition from the quiz show “Stop the Music”, but the following year he went to CBS with a new weekly program entitled “The Charlie McCarthy Show”. It was sponsored for three years by Coca Cola, and was then sustained by Richard Hudnut. In 1954, it was sponsored by Kraft Foods, and continued airing until 1956.
Edgar was also a comic strip creator, running the comic strip “Mortimer & Charlie” in newspapers. He also did acting work, appearing with Charlie McCarthy in numerous films; some of his projects included “You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man”, and “The Goldwyn Follies”. He also appeared solo in “I Remember Mama”, “Look Who’s Laughing”, “Stage Door Canteen” and “The Phynx”. He even made a guest appearance in “The Muppet Show”, and also appeared in “The Muppet Movie”. He subsequently made regular television appearances in episodes of various popular shows, such as “The Gisele MacKenzie Show”, “Five Fingers”, “Here’s Hollywood”, and “The DuPont Show with Juny Allyson”, all adding to his net worth.
For his personal life, it is known that Bergen married fashion model Frances Westerman in 1945. Their daughter is actress Candice Bergen and their son is editor Kris Bergen. In 1978, Edgar announced his retirement from show business and sent Charlie to the Smithsonian Institution. He passed away three days later in his sleep, from the effects of kidney disease. He and Frances, who died in 1984 are buried in Inglewood Cemetery, California, together with his parents.
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