Milton Berle medal designed by Eugene Daub, struck by the Highland Mint in quantities of 135 bronze, 60 pure silver, and 18 gold-plated silver. Obverse: Portrait, There’s just one place for me ….. Near You! Reverse: Family watching television, Milton Berle 1908-2002, DAUB ’07. 49 x 47 mm.
Milton Berlinger was born in New York City on July 12, 1908, His onstage antics got underway in 1913 when he won a look-alike contest with his impersonation of Charlie Chaplin. Berle appeared as a child actor in silent films, beginning with The Perils of Pauline (1914).
In 1942, Milton Berle accepted an offer to star in the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway — and the producers agreed to put his name above the title of the show. This was a huge concession, and Berle says it’s the only time in the history of the Follies that a performer saw his name above the title! The Ziegfeld Follies opened on April 1, 1943, and ran for 553 performances. Berle also found the time to squeeze in camp shows for the GIs, benefits for the Red Cross, appearances to help sell war bonds, and broadcasts for Armed Forces Radio.
In his first four seasons on the air, Berle reigned as “Mr. Television,” and was fondly called “Uncle Miltie.” In May 1949, he became the first comedian to appear simultaneously on the covers of Time and Newsweek. In 1948, Milton Berle received one of the first Emmy Awards ever given for starring in NBC’s Texaco Star Theater. He also was the first person to be inducted into the Television Hall of Fame (1984), and the first inductee into the Comedy Hall of Fame (1992).
Milton Berle was also a songwriter and author, and appeared in dozens of motion pictures and television shows. He received an Emmy Nomination for his lead role in Doyle Against the House on The Dick Powell Show in 1961. Berle was named to the Guiness Book of World Records for the greatest number of charity performances made by a show-business performer over a period of 50 years. And he received an award for entertaining at stateside military bases in World War I as a child performer, in addition to traveling to foreign bases in World War II and Vietnam. The first charity telethon (for the Damon Runyan Cancer Fund) was hosted by Berle in 1949. A permanent fixture at charity benefits in the Hollywood/Los Angeles area, Milton Berle was instrumental in raising millions for charitable causes.