There were three versions of Charlie McCarthy, Edgar Bergen's most famous character. One of the wooden "dummies" is in the Smithsonian Institution; the second occupies a place of honor at the Museum Of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. The third is owned by magician David Copperfield who purchased it at an auction for $110,000.
Attended Northwestern University (Evanston, IL).
Father, with wife Frances Bergen, of actress Candice Bergen and film/TV editor Kris Bergen.
Served as the first president of the Television Academy.
Pictured on one of five 29¢ US commemorative postage stamps celebrating famous comedians, issued in booklet form 29 August 1991. He is shown with alter ego Charlie McCarthy. The stamp designs were drawn by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld. The other comedians honored in the set are Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy; Jack Benny; Fanny Brice; and Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.
"The Edgar Bergen/Charlie McCarthy Show" (1937-1956) was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1990.
The Muppet Movie (1979) was dedicated in his memory.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald S. Smith, pg. 45-46. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Died only weeks after his retirement, in the fall of 1978.
Was never a flawless ventriloquist, but worked the fact that his lips moved into routines; Charlie McCarthy in particular would rib him about it. Nonetheless, when Bergen appeared in person, everyone reacted to his characters as though they did the talking.
Reportedly left $10,000 in his will to his dummy Charlie McCarthy through The Actors Fund. The money was intended to preserve Charlie and keep him in good shape. Charlie's original name was Charlie Mack, named after the man who originally sculpted him.
Profiled in "Old Time Radio Memories" by Mel Simons (BearManor Media).
He was awarded three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Television at 6425 Hollywood Boulevard; Motion Pictures at 6766 Hollywood Boulevard; and for Radio at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Born Edgar John Berggren of Swedish parentage.
He and his daughter Candice Bergen were the only parent and child to each make guest appearances on The Muppet Show (1976).
In 1922 Edger Berggren changed his last name too Bergen.