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Image by Denise Azbill / The Weidenfeld family
Above we have Elias and Frieda Weidenfeld and their children.
The photo was taken in Akron, Ohio around 1920. Jesse is the youngest boy. Jesse Marc Weidenfeld was born on January 3, 1917 in Buffalo, New York. He was raised in Ohio and first developed an interest in acting when he was fifteen years old and appeared in a local stage production. Like many young men of the time, he began with finding work as a vaudeville performer as well as burlesque. In 1943, he was given his chance to appear on Broadway and after gaining some more stage experience, White broke into the film industry.
Jesse first played the part of Wilson on Broadway before starring in the film, Harvey (1950), with Jimmy Stewart. He's been in many films: Bedtime for Bonzo (1951) starring Ronald Reagan, The Girl in White (1952) starring June Allyson, Hell's Half Acre (1954) starring Wendell Corey and Not as a Stranger (1955) starring Robert Mitchum. While not considered as handsome as a leading man should be during his time, his easy style of acting kept him busy and let him play a variety of roles.
Twilight Zone / Carol Burnett and Jesse White
In the Twilight Zone episode, Cavender Is Coming, Carol Burnett plays a clumsy woman who meets her equally bumbling guardian angel played by Jesse. A regular on television, Jesse guest starred in many shows like Make Room for Daddy, The Lone Ranger, Twilight Zone, Trapper John M.D. and of course Bonanza. He has even lent his voice talents to cartoons like Garfield and Friends.
Jesse as Eskey in The Saga of Muley Jones
Between his television roles and film work he appeared in over 100 different roles. He also gained a lot of attention for his commercial appearances as the Maytag washer repairman. He beat out Phil Silvers (among others) for the part of the lonely sad sack indentified only as The Maytag Repairman. Through a succession of TV spots and ads, "Ol' Lonely" waited in vain for the phone to ring, telling him he was needed to fix a broken Maytag.
A family man, Jesse married only once in 1942 to Celia Cohn. They had two children and remained married until he passed away on January 9th, 1997 in Los Angeles, California after suffering from a heart attack at the age of eighty.
Whenever possible, Jesse would play his part smoking a cigar.
So, that's how I always remember him.[/center]
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