Paul Winchell

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Birth Name: Paul Winchell
Born: 12/21/1922
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA
Death Place: Moorpark, California, USA
Died: 06/24/2005

Winchell was born in New York City on Dec. 21, 1922. He contracted polio at age six and overcame speech impediments as he learned to throw his own voice. At the age of 13, Winchell was a winner on radio's Amateur Hour for doing his imitation of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Jerry Mahoney, a smart-mouthed puppet he had invented in his early teens who began with an appearance in a 1936 radio audition for "Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour" (earning first prize), was inspired by ventriloquist Bergen's McCarthy--Bergen was his childhood hero, and Winchell said one of the greatest thrills of his life was a joint appearance with Bergen on the game show "Masquerade Party."

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