Born Dominic Felix Amici in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Ameche began his career in vaudeville with Texas Guinan until Guinan dropped him from the act, dismissing him as too stiff.
He made his film debut in 1935 and by the late thirties had established himself as a leading actor in Hollywood. He appeared successfully in such films as Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938), as Alexander Graham Bell in The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939) and Heaven Can Wait (1943). By the end of the decade his films had lost appeal, and he turned to radio where he achieved great success during the fifties playing opposite Frances Langford in The Bickerfords.
For three decades he was virtually absent from films, until he was cast alongside fellow veteran actor Ralph Bellamy in the film Trading Places in 1983. The actors played rich brothers intent on ruining an innocent man for the sake of a bet and the film's great success, and their acclaimed comedic performances, brought them both back into the limelight. Ameche's next role, in Cocoon (1985), won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and he continued working for the rest of his life. His final scenes for the film Corinna, Corinna (1994) were completed only days before his death in Scottsdale, Arizona from prostate cancer.
Ameche has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6101 Hollywood Boulevard.
Don Ameche Facts
|Birth Name||Dominic Felix Amici|
|Birthday||May 31, 1908|
|Birthplace||Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA|
|Date of death||December 6, 1993 (age 85)|
|Height||5' 9" (1m75) How tall is Don Ameche compared to you?|
|Awards||1986 Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor (for Cocoon)|