Buttons, Red 1919–2006

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Buttons, Red 1919–2006


Original name, Aaron Chwatt; born February 5, 1919, in New York, NY; died of vascular disease, July 13, 2006, in Century City, CA. Actor and comedian. The career of red-headed Buttons spanned more than sixty years and began as a seven-year-old singer on the streets of New York City. After working as a singing bellhop and touring the burlesque circuit as a comedian, Buttons made his Broadway debut in Vicki in 1942. He appeared on Broadway in Wine, Women, and Song and Winged Victory and made his film debut in the film version of Winged Victory in 1944. Buttons starred in his own television series, The Red Buttons Show, from 1952 to 1955 and won an Emmy Award for his performance. In 1957 Buttons won an Academy Award for his portrayal of American soldier Joe Kelly in the feature film Sayonara. The films Harlow and They Shoot Horses, Don't They? garnered Buttons Golden Globe Award nominations, and he also appeared in Hatari!, The Poseidon Adventure, Pete's Dragon, and C.H.O.M.P.S. Buttons was a common face in television, starring in the series The Double Life of Henry Phyfe, Dean Martin's "Celebrity Roast," and Knots Landing. He guest starred in numerous television shows, including General Electric Theatre, Wonder Woman, The Love Boat, Roseanne, and ER.


New York Times, July 13, 2006.

Variety, July 17, 2006.