Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives (June 14, 1909 – April 14, 1995) was an American actor and musician.
Born and raised in southern Illinois, he dropped out of college and began his career as an itinerant folk singer and guitarist during The Great Depression. In the 1940s he hosted his own radio show called The Wayfaring Stranger, which popularized traditional folk songs. After serving in the Army during World War II, he recorded a number of hit songs for the Decca Records label, successfully crossing over to country music in the 1950s and '60s.
Ives was also a popular actor, starting on Broadway in the late '30s before moving to film in the '40s. His film roles included parts in So Dear to My Heart and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, as well as Rufus Hannassey in The Big Country, in a performance which earned him both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. He continued to appear in films and on television into the '80s.
Ives is often associated with the Christmas season, as he was the voice actor for Sam the Snowman, narrator of the classic 1964 animated television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Ives also contributed to the special's soundtrack, including the title song and "A Holly Jolly Christmas", both of which continue to appear annually on the Billboard holiday charts to this day.
Films with pages on TV Tropes:
- So Dear to My Heart (1948) as Uncle Hiram Douglas
- East of Eden (1955) as Samuel the Sheriff
- A Face in the Crowd (1957) as Himself (uncredited)
- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) as Big Daddy Pollitt
- Day of the Outlaw (1959) as Jack Bruhn
- The Big Country (1958) as Rufus Hannassey
- Summer Magic (1963) as Osh Popham
- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964) as Sam the Snowman (voice)
- The Daydreamer (1966) as Father Neptune (voice)
- The Bermuda Depths (1978 Made-for-TV Movie) as Paulis
- White Dog (1982) as Carruthers
- Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984 Made-for-TV Movie) as Narrator (voice)
- Two Moon Junction (1988) as Sheriff Earl Hawkins
TV series with pages on TV Tropes:
- Playhouse 90 (1957, episode "The Miracle Worker") as Captain Keller
- Daniel Boone (1969, episode "A Tall Tale of Prater Beasely") as Prater Beaseley
- The Bold Ones: The Lawyers (1969–72) as Walter Nicholls
- Alias Smith and Jones (1971–72, five episodes) as Big Mac McCreedy
- Night Gallery (1972, episode "The Other Way Out") as Old Man Doubleday
- Little House on the Prairie (1976, episode "The Hunters") as Samuel Shelby
- Roots (1977, Part VIII) as Senator Arthur J. Justin