Will Jordan (1927 - 2018)

Will Jordan
1927 - 2018
updated October 29, 2019
Will Jordan was born on July 27, 1927 in Bronx, New York. He died on September 6, 2018 in New York, New York at 91 years old.

Will Jordan (born William Rauch, July 27, 1927 – September 6, 2018) was an American character actor and stand-up comedian best known for his resemblance—and ability to do uncanny impressions of—television host and newspaper columnist Ed Sullivan. Jordan was a friend of and early influence on comedian Lenny Bruce.
Early life
Born in the Bronx, Rauch grew up in Flushing, Queens. His father was a pharmacist and his mother owned a hat store. Jordan graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan.
Sullivan had almost no mannerisms, which made him hard to impersonate. According to Jordan, he invented some funny mannerisms that Sullivan never had, like cracking his knuckles, spinning, and shaking back and forth. Jordan's early appearances mimicking Ed came on The Ed Sullivan Show. In his act, Jordan came up with the catch-phrase, "Welcome to our Toast of the Town 'Shoooo'", which became a stereotypical joke for nearly every Sullivan impersonator after that, usually as the more generic "Really Big 'Shoooo'" (or "shoe").
In virtually all of his film appearances since the 1970s, Jordan portrayed Sullivan in films that feature characters appearing on Sullivan's famous variety series such as I Wanna Hold Your Hand, which depicted the Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964.[4] Sullivan died in 1974. In 1983, Jordan appeared as Sullivan in the elaborately produced 60s-TV-style video for "Tell Her About It", the Billy Joel hit single.
Jordan impersonated Sullivan in the 2003 film Down with Love. Jordan appeared as Sullivan in the Broadway revival of the musical Bye Bye Birdie, which ran from October 15, 2009, through January 24, 2010. Jordan appeared in the original Broadway production in 1960-1961. He also participated in a recording project, called "The Sicknicks", with Sandy Baron. The pair produced a comedy single, "The Presidential Press Conference", which was a minor hit in 1961.

Jordan's other impressions included Bing Crosby, Groucho Marx and Jack Benny.[5] He imitated Peter Lorre and James Mason as one of the actors in "Psycho Drama" on Rupert Holmes's 1974 debut album Widescreen.
Personal life and death
Jordan had a son, Lonnie Saunders.
On September 6, 2018, writer Mark Evanier announced that Will Jordan had died at the age of 91 that morning.

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Will Jordan

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Will Jordan was born on in Bronx, New York United States


Will Jordan died on in New York, New York United States

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old age

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Amanda S. Stevenson
8.86k+ favorites
He was a famous comic and I dated him in the summer of 1969. He was funny and romantic and a wonderful boyfriend.
May 20, 2019 · Reply

Will Jordan Obituary

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By Richard Sandomir NEW YORK TIMES
Sept. 8, 2018

Will Jordan, a gifted impressionist who mimicked the voices of many stars but became known mainly for his full-body imitation of the variety-show host Ed Sullivan, died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 91. Dr. Paula Rauch, his niece, said the cause was complications of a stroke.
Sullivan, whose Sunday show was must-see television for nearly a quarter century, was an awkward, wooden physical presence who mangled words and names. Mr. Jordan turned him into a mumbling character who cracked his knuckles, popped his eyes, hunched his shoulders, folded his arms, spun in place and promised the audience it was in for a “really big shoo.”
But it was largely an invention. Sullivan was not inherently funny, so Mr. Jordan created a comic version of him. He started by putting his tongue under his upper lip — as if he were imitating an ape — and rolled his eyes so audiences could see the whites. More gestures followed, he told Gerald Nachman, the author of “Seriously Funny: The Rebel Comedians of the 1950s and 1960s” (2003).
“The reason it went over was because it wasn’t anything like the real Sullivan,” Mr. Jordan said. “It was a partial invention. He never said ‘really big,’ he never said ‘shoo,’ he never cracked his knuckles, he never rolled his eyes up, he never did spins, he never frowned.”
Sullivan became Mr. Jordan’s breakthrough voice. He had honed it for a couple of years before he performed it in 1953 on the stage of “The Toast of the Town,” Mr. Sullivan’s variety shoo, which ran from 1948 to 1971. (The name was changed after a few years to “The Ed Sullivan Show.”)
After his second appearance, in 1954, when he added many of the mannerisms that would make the impression famous, Sid Shalit, a radio and TV columnist for The Daily News in New York, wrote that “Jordan captured every nuance, every inflection, every shoulder-shrug, every near-burp.”
Mr. Jordan imitated Sullivan in the Broadway musical “Bye Bye Birdie” (but not in the film version, in which Mr. Sullivan imitated himself), as well as in movies like “The Buddy Holly Story” (1978) and “The Doors” (1991) and in the video for Billy Joel’s 1983 song “Tell Her About It.” He also recorded a version of “Bye Bye Love,” the Everly Brothers hit, in Sullivan’s voice in 1959.
His great success at mimicking Sullivan led to imitations of his imitation, about which Mr. Jordan was extremely protective.
“The people that stole from me didn’t need to,” he told the comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff in an interview for the website Classic Television Showbiz in 2011, referring to other comedians who did Sullivan impressions. “Jackie Mason. Why would he need to steal from me? Jack Carter? Why would he steal from me?”
“The reason it went over,” Mr. Jordan said of his Ed Sullivan impression, “was because it wasn’t anything like the real Sullivan.” “They weren’t stealing Ed Sullivan. They were stealing my impression of Ed Sullivan.”
Mr. Nachman wrote that Mr. Jordan was crushed that “a legion of imitators” had appropriated his Sullivan impression. His niece, Dr. Rauch, said in a telephone interview that he had also been upset that other comedians, among them Lenny Bruce, had stolen other material from him, or so he maintained.
William Rauch (his given name is often wrongly given as Wilbur) was born in the Bronx on July 27, 1927, and grew up in Flushing, Queens. His father, Theodore, was a pharmacist who also ran the candy concession at a local movie theater. His mother, Claire (Kahan) Rauch, owned a hat store.
Billy, as his family called him, was more of a jokester than a student and notably adept at playing with a yo-yo. He graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan, performed in summer stock (but did not enjoy acting) and began working in the late 1940s as a stand-up comedian with a talent for doing impressions.
With his gift for imitating Sullivan and others, among them Bing Crosby, Groucho Marx and Jack Benny, Mr. Jordan became — along with David Frye, Rich Little, Frank Gorshin, John Byner, Marilyn Michaels and George Kirby — one of an elite group of impressionists who performed regularly on television in the postwar decades.
In the end of “The Ed Sullivan Show,” the demand for seeing Mr. Jordan mold his body and voice to imitate its host began to wane.
For years after Sullivan’s death in 1974, Mr. Jordan annually placed an ad in showbiz trade magazines that read, “It’s just not the same without you.”
In the 1970s and ’80s Mr. Jordan took a detour, imitating George C. Scott’s Academy Award-winning performance as Gen. George S. Patton for corporate sales conferences and motivational retreats.
“He had this full Patton outfit, a collection of World War II medals and a helmet, and he always did his own makeup,” Dr. Rauch said.
Mr. Jordan appeared in Woody Allen’s “Broadway Danny Rose” (1984) as himself, one of a chorus of comics reminiscing at the Carnegie Delicatessen about the small-time talent agent of the title played by Mr. Allen.
Mr. Jordan is survived by his companion, Rose Lindenmayer, and a son, Lonnie Saunders.
In 2013, long retired from show business, Mr. Jordan performed his Sullivan impression at a 100th-anniversary tribute to the Palace Theater at the Players Club in Manhattan.
The tribute was organized by Travis Stewart, who produces vaudeville shows under the name Trav S.D. “It was,” Mr. Stewart said in a telephone interview, “like the last echo of Ed Sullivan.”Jordan died at his home in Manhattan.

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1927 - 2018 World Events

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In 1927, in the year that Will Jordan was born, aviator and media darling Charles Lindbergh, age 25, made the first successful solo TransAtlantic flight. "Lucky Lindy" took off from Long Island in New York and flew to Paris, covering  3,600 statute miles and flying for 33 1⁄2-hours. His plane "The Spirit of St. Louis" was a fabric-covered, single-seat, single-engine "Ryan NYP" high-wing monoplane designed by both Lindbergh and the manufacturer's chief engineer.

In 1941, at the age of merely 14 years old, Will was alive when on June 25th, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802, prohibiting racial discrimination in the defense industry. EO 8802 was the first federal action to prohibit employment discrimination - without prejudice as to "race, creed, color, or national origin" - in the U.S. Civil Rights groups had planned a march on Washington D.C. to protest for equal rights but with the signing of the Order, they canceled the March.

In 1954, Will was 27 years old when from April 22 through June 17th, the Army v. McCarthy hearings were held. The U.S. Army accused Roy Cohn (chief counsel to Senator McCarthy and later trusted mentor of Donald Trump) of blackmail. McCarthy and Cohn accused the U.S. Army of harboring communists. The Army allegations were found to be true. The U.S. Senate later censured McCarthy.

In 1963, Will was 36 years old when the British Secretary of War, 46 year old John Profumo ,was forced to resign when he lied about an affair with 19 year old Christine Keeler. Keeler was also involved with the Soviet naval attaché and charges of espionage were feared. No proof of spying was ever found.

In 1978, when he was 51 years old, on November 18th, Jim Jones's Peoples Temple followers committed mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana - where they had moved, from San Francisco, as a group. Jones was the leader of the cult and ordered his followers to drink cyanide-laced punch, which they did. Whole families (women and children included) died - more than 900 people in all.

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Jan 28, 1951 - Unknown

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