Don Ameche

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Heartthrob actor of the 1930s & '40s who made something of a comeback in the 1980s.
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Actor/singer Don Ameche was born Dominic Felix Amici in Kenosha, WI, on May 31, 1904. But Ameche's career in entertainment wasn't pre-planned at all; in fact, it happened by accident while attending law school (after landing a role in a local production of Excess Baggage). The acting bug had officially bitten the young lawyer-to-be, who turned his back on his planned career and began doing radio shows (The Bickersons, The Chase, and Sandborne Hour). Soon after, roles in movies started to come his way, as Ameche proved to be successful at both musicals (Down Argentine Way, Moon Over Miami) and dramatic roles (One in a Million, Heaven Can Wait). Ameche would later take roles on TV and Broadway before appearing in his last two hit movies -- the Dan Aykroyd/Eddie Murphy comedy hit Trading Places and the Ron Howard-directed Cocoon (the latter of which Ameche won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor), both in the mid-'80s. Ameche passed away from cancer in Scottsdale, AZ, on December 6, 1993, at the age of 89.