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Rodney Dangerfield

Updated on September 29, 2012

Rodney - Gone but not Forgotten

As I was scrolling through You Tube I came across Rodney Dangerfield, they just don't make them like they use to.

Rodney was born November 22, 1921 and died October 5, 2004. His real name was Jacob Cohen, a comedian and actor best known for the catchphrase "I don't get no respect" and his monologues on that theme. Rodney fit the victim role perfectly and maintained a consistent brand of "No Respect"

Rodney was born on Long Island in the town of Babylon, the son of vaudevillian Phil Roy (Philip Cohen). He later said his father "was never home — he was out looking to make other kids”, and that his mother "brought him up all wrong”.

As he progressed in the entertainment field Rodney realized what he lacked was an "image" — a well-defined on-stage persona that audiences could relate to. He took the name Rodney Dangerfield, which had been used as a comical name by Jack Benny on his radio program at least as early as the December 12, 1941

His success was assured when he told his very first "no respect" joke: "I don't get no respect. Dangerfield would also tell conventional jokes in his act: "I grew up in a tough neighborhood. Tough neighborhood! Teachers would get notes from parents saying, 'Please excuse Johnny for the next 5 to 10 years!'" Dangerfield became the surprise hit of the show.

Rodney - Final Days

On April 8, 2003, Rodney underwent brain surgery to improve blood flow in preparation for heart valve-replacement surgery on August 24, 2004. Entering the hospital Rodney was asked how long he would be hospitalized, he said, "If all goes well, about a week. If not, about an hour-and-a-half.”

In September 2004, it was revealed that Dangerfield had been in a coma for several weeks. Afterward, he began breathing on his own and showing signs of awareness when visited by friends. On October 5, 2004, he died at the UCLA Medical Center, where he had undergone the surgery in August. He was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. In keeping with his "No Respect" persona, his headstone reads simply, "Rodney Dangerfield - There goes the neighborhood.”

Joan Child, Rodneys wife held an event in which the word "Respect" had been emblazoned in the sky, each guest was given a live Monarch butterfly for a Native American butterfly-release ceremony led by Farrah Fawcett.


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    • rb77 profile image

      rb77 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      Yes, he was a different sort, sorry to see him go.

    • RevLady profile image

      RevLady 7 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      Rodney was one of my favorite comedians. I miss his brand of humor. Thank you for this hub.

      Forever His,