Ed Ames Teaches Johnny Carson to Throw a Tomahawk

Long before giving audiences the gift of laughter through literally well-aimed dick jokes, Ames initially got his start in the industry singing as the Ames Brothers quartet with his brothers Vic, Joe, and Gene in the 1950s. The brothers charted 49 hits, performing the theme for 1957's Bing Crosby-led Man On Fire, and even airing a syndicated television program, The Ames Brothers Show, before parting ways in 1963. Ames went on to have a successful solo career, charting singles like “Who Will Answer?”, “My Cup Runneth Over” and “Try to Remember.”

Advertisement

After studying at the Herbert Berghof Drama School in New York in the 1960s, Ames brought his talents off-Broadway to roles in “The Fantasticks” and “The Crucible.” He eventually took his talents from off-Broadway to on, nabbing his first major role in “Carnival!” He would go on to star with Kirk Douglas, Gene Wilder, and William Daniels “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” on Broadway, as well.

In addition to his wife Jeanne, Ames is also survived by two children, Ronald and Sonya; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.