Jack Roy (Born Jacob Rodney Cohen; November 22, 1921-October 5, 2004), popularly known by the stage name Rodney Dangerfield, was an American stand-up comedian, actor, producer, screenwriter, musician and author. He was known for his self-deprecating one-liner humor, his catchphrase “I don’t get no respect!” and his monologues on that theme.He began his career working as a stand-up comic in the Borscht Belt resorts of the Catskill Mountains northwest of New York City. His act grew in popularity as he became a mainstay on late-night talk shows throughout the 1960s and 1970s, eventually developing into a headlining act on the Las Vegas casino circuit.
His catch-phrase “I get no respect!” came from an attempt to improve one of his stand-up jokes. “I played hide and seek; they wouldn’t even look for me.” He thought the joke would be stronger if it used the formulaic “I was so …” beginning (“I was so poor,” “He was so ugly,” “She was so stupid,” etc.). He tried “I get no respect,” and got a much better response with the audience; it became a permanent feature of his act and comedic persona.
He appeared in a few bit parts in films such as an uncredited part in Stanley Kubrick‘s The Killing (1955) with Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, and Vince Edwards; and The Projectionist (1970), but his breakout film role came as a boorish nouveau riche golfer in Harold Ramis‘s ensemble sports comedy Caddyshack (1980), with Chevy Chase, Ted Knight and Bill Murray). This was followed by two more successful films in which he starred: 1983’s Easy Money, with Joe Pesci, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Candice Azzara, and Jennifer Jason Leigh; and Back to School (1986), with Keith Gordon, Sally Kellerman, Burt Young, Terry Farrell, William Zabka, Ned Beatty, Sam Kinison, Paxton Whitehead and Robert Downey Jr.
Additional film work kept him busy through the rest of his life, mostly in comedies, but with a rare dramatic role in Oliver Stone‘s Natural Born Killers (1994), as an abusive father; the film starred Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Downey Jr., Tom Sizemore, and Tommy Lee Jones. Other notable film roles include a starring role in Meet Wally Sparks (1997), with Debi Mazar, Michael Weatherly, Cindy Williams, Alan Rachins, Burt Reynolds, and David Ogden Stiers; and a supporting role in Little Nicky (2000, with Adam Sandler, Patricia Arquette, Rhys Ifans, Tom “Tiny” Lister Jr., and Harvey Keitel. Health troubles curtailed his output through the early 2000s before his death in 2004, following a month in a coma due to complications from heart valve surgery.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- The Killing (1956) – directed by Stanley Kubrick – uncredited actor
- The Projectionist (1970) – directed by Harry Hurwitz
- Caddyshack (1980) – directed by Harold Ramis – also additional dialogue (uncredited)
- Easy Money (1983) – directed by James Signorelli – also co-writer
- Back to School (1986) – directed by Alan Metter – also co-story
- Moving (1988) – directed by Alan Metter – uncredited actor
- Rover Dangerfield (1991) – directed by James L. George & Bob Seeley – also writer, co-producer
- Ladybugs (1992) – directed by Sidney J. Furie
- Natural Born Killers (1994) – directed by Oliver Stone – also additional dialogue (uncredited)
- Casper (1995)* – directed by Brad Silberling – uncredited cameo
- Meet Wally Sparks (1997) – directed by Peter Baldwin – also co-writer, producer
- Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997) – directed by Sean McNamara – straight-to-video
- The Godson (1998) – directed by Bob Hoge – straight-to-video
- Rusty: A Dog’s Tale (1998) – directed by Shuki Levy – aka Rusty: The Great Rescue
- My 5 Wives (2000) – directed by Sidney J. Furie – also co-writer, producer
- Little Nicky (2000) – directed by Steven Brill
- The 4th Tenor (2002) – directed by Harry Basil – also co-writer
- Back by Midnight (2005) – directed by Harry Basil – also co-writer – posthumous release
- Angels with Angles (2005) – directed by Scott Edmund Lane – posthumous release