Sir Duke Report This Comment
Date: June 02, 2007 07:55PM
Charles Nelson Reilly was born in the Bronx, New York and was the son of
Charles Joseph Reilly, an Irish Catholic commercial artist, and Signe Elvera
Nelson, a Swedish Lutheran. As a child he would often make is own puppet theater
to amuse himself and his mother would often say "save it for the
stage" foreshadowing his future as an entertainer. At age 13 he escaped the
tragic Hartford Circus Fire where over a hundred people died and never sat in an
audience again in his life.
Reilly made his first movie appearance in 1957, playing an uncredited role in
the Elia Kazan film A Face in the Crowd. However, most of his work during this
period was on the stage, as he appeared in many off-Broadway shows. His big
Broadway break came in 1960 with a minor part in the hit Bye Bye Birdie. Reilly
would go on to win a Tony Award for his performance in 1962's How To Succeed In
Business Without Really Trying, and he was nominated for another Tony two years
later, for his work as Cornelius Hackl in the Broadway production of Hello,
While he kept active in Broadway shows, Reilly would soon become better known
for his TV work. In 1965, he made regular appearances on The Steve Lawrence
Show, which aired for a single season. From 1968 to 1970, he appeared as uptight
"Claymore Gregg" on the television series The Ghost and Mrs. Muir,
which also starred Hope Lange and Edward Mulhare, in which he was reunited with
Hello, Dolly! Broadway co-star, Eileen Brennan on one episode.
In 1971, he appeared as the evil magician "Hoodoo" in Lidsville, a
psychedelically flavored live-action children's program produced by Sid and
Marty Krofft that aired on Saturday mornings on ABC. The show was about a boy
who falls into a magician's hat and enters a magical world of hat people. It is
through these roles, as well as his playing the titular role in Uncle Croc's
Block, that Reilly's voice and mannerisms were embedded in a generation of young
Match Game '77 cast: Dawson, Reilly, Somers, and RayburnDuring the 1970s Reilly
also appeared as a regular on The Dean Martin Show, and had multiple guest
appearances on television series including McMillan and Wife, Here's Lucy, Laugh
In, The Love Boat and Love, American Style and was a very frequent guest on The
Tonight Show with Johnny Carson appearing over ninety times as he lived within
blocks of the studio and would fill in for other guests who were unable to make
it to the studio in time. During this time Reilly was perhaps best known as a
fixture of game shows, primarily due to his appearances as a regular panelist on
the television game show Match Game. Reilly was the longest running guest, and
often engaged in petty arguments with fellow regular Brett Somers. Reilly
typically offered sardonic commentary and peppered his answers with gay-themed
double entendres that pushed the boundaries of 1970s television standards.
From 1975-1976 Reilly starred in another live-action children's program called
Uncle Croc's Block with Jonathan Harris. Reilly was often a guest celebrity in
the 1984 game show Body Language, including one week with Lucille Ball and
another week with Audrey Landers.
From 1980, Reilly was primarily active teaching acting and directing for
television and theater. He directed episodes of the Evening Shade television
series in 1990 and earned a 1997 Tony Award nomination as Best Director of a
Play for working with longtime pal Julie Harris, opposite whom he had acted in
Skyscraper, and whom he had directed in The Belle of Amherst and a revival of
The Gin Game.
Reilly was a longtime teacher of acting at HB Studio, the acting studio created
by Herbert Berghof and his wife, Uta Hagen. His acting students included Lily
Tomlin and Bette Midler.
In the 1990s Reilly made guest appearances on The Drew Carey Show, The Larry
Sanders Show, and most notably, as eccentric writer Jose Chung in the television
series The X-Files ("Jose Chung's "From Outer Space""
and Millennium ("Jose Chung's Doomsday
. Reilly was nominated for Emmy Awards in 1998
and 1999 for his performances in The Drew Carey Show and Millennium,
respectively. From the late 1990s, Reilly directed theater and opera, touring
the country performing a critically acclaimed one man stage show chronicling his
life called Save It For the Stage: The Life of Reilly and occasionally
performing as the voice of "The Dirty Bubble" on the animated series
SpongeBob SquarePants. In 2006, his stage show was made into a feature film
called The Life of Reilly.
Reilly did not publicly come out as gay until his one man show Save It for the
Stage. However, much like fellow game show regular Paul Lynde, Reilly played up
a campy onscreen persona. In many episodes of Match Game, he would lampoon
himself by briefly affecting a deep voice and self-consciously describing how
"butch" he was. He mentioned in a 2002 interview with Entertainment
Tonight that he felt no need to come out of the closet and that he never
purposefully hid his homosexuality from anyone.
Patrick Hughes III, a set decorator and dresser, was Reilly's partner; the two
met backstage while Reilly was appearing on the game show Battlestars. They
lived in Beverly Hills.
On May 25, 2007, Reilly died at his home from complications from pneumonia after
a year long illness.
anon Report This Comment
Date: June 02, 2007 09:27PM
complications from pneumonia?
sounds like some democrat wrote that instead of saying "the fucking
degenerate queer is dying because he took it in the ass too much"
tell it like it is...