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Creator / Burl Ives

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"When you've set goals and dreams, you don't feel old."

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.

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