Sandy Baron Poster


Sandy Baron was born Sanford Beresofsky in Brooklyn, New York on May 5, 1936. Raised in Brooklyn's Brownsville neighborhood, the young Sandy attended public schools and participated in accelerated classes. A graduate of Brooklyn College, he spent his early years working summers in the Catskill Mountain resorts that were the breeding grounds of many Jewish comedians. Baron made his Broadway debut in "Tchin-Tchin" on Oct 25, 1962. His next play, Bertolt Brecht's "Arturo Ui" with Christopher Plummer in the title role, was a flop, lasting but eight performances in November 1963. His next appearance on the Great White Way, in the comedy "Generation," was more successful, playing for over half a year in the 1965-1966 season.

In 1964, Sandy -- already a seasoned Catskill comic and nightclub performer -- released a 13-track album on Roulette Records, "The Race! Race!" The album jacket pronounced it a "rollicking comedy album about hate, prejudice, bigotry and other such nonsense." He established a national reputation that year on the television comedy series That Was the Week That Was (1964), the American version of the hit British TV show, both of which starred David Frost. He followed it up with a lead role in the TV series Hey, Landlord (1966), playing a stand-up comedian.

In the 1970s, he made regular appearances on the The Mike Douglas Show (1961) and the The Merv Griffin Show (1962). Baron played Lenny Bruce in the show "Lenny" at Hollywood's Aquarius Theater in 1972, and eventually replaced Cliff Gorman in New York in what would prove to be his last Broadway appearance.

Baron appeared as himself in Woody Allen's Broadway Danny Rose (1984), the director's homage to borscht-belt comedy. In the 1990s, he appeared as Jack Klompus, the nemesis of Jerry Seinfeld's father on the hit TV series Seinfeld (1989). He replaced Al Lewis as Grandpa Munster in the TV movie The Munsters' Scary Little Christmas (1996). His last movie appearance was in Stephen Frears' The Hi-Lo Country (1998).

Sandy Baron died of emphysema on January 21, 2001 in a nursing home in Van Nuys, California. A memorial celebration was held on July 22, 2001 at Hollywood's Ivar Theater.