Rich Littleimpressionist, comedian
Perhaps the most impressive work Rich Little has done in movies is that about which most people are unaware. After David Niven became unable to speak clearly at times due to Lou Gehrig's disease, the movie's producers asked Little to use his skills as an impressionist to provide voice dubbing for the movie Trail of the Pink Panther (1982). He followed that up by providing a voice for the deceased Peter Sellers in Curse of the Pink Panther (1983). The so-called “man of a thousand voices,” Little's impressions were first noticed by Mel Torme who saw Little in his native Canada and arranged for him to perform on Judy Garland's CBS variety series. Garland's obvious admiration of him on camera helped establish his reputation and the rest, as they say, is history. Although Little has been highly successful on variety programs and in live performances, his own television shows have had less success. Love on a Rooftop (1966), The Kopycats (1972), and The Rich Little Show (1975) were all unsuccessful in the ratings. Still, he remains popular enough to spend one-third of the year on tour with his comedy act.
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