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Pictures dated 1939, 1983 and 2003
Click images to enlarge
"I'll tell ya, my wife and I, we don't think alike. She donates money to the homeless, and I donate money to the topless!"

"If you haven't got any class, maybe you'd like to go out with me!" [Asking a teacher for a date]

"My wife was afraid of the dark...then she saw me naked and now she's afraid of the light."

"I was such an ugly baby ... My mother never breast fed me. She told me that she only liked me as a friend."

"I was so poor growing up ... if I wasn't a boy ...I'd have nothing to play with."

"No Respect"

The greatest comic personality of his time was born Jacob Cohen on November 22, 1921. He came to Kew Gardens at the age of 10 after his parents divorced and his mother took an apartment in a two story Tudor Building on Austin Street. Unlike most who grew up here, young Jacob never felt he belonged. The Great Depression was on and his mother had no money. He remembers being the only child in the neighborhood who had to work to help support the family - all while attending P.S. 99 and Richmond Hill High School. It was not until he was a forty-something door-to-door salesman named Jack Roy that he created the luckless, neurotic character that was to make him famous.

In 1981, he won a Grammy Award for his comedy album, No Respect, and in 1994, he was given the Lifetime Creative Achievement Award from the American Comedy Awards. He was the first show business personality to have his own web site. His trademark white shirt and red tie are now on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.

Unfortunately, in life as in comedy, respect is not always easy to come by. In 1990, a tabloid newspaper ran an article about him under a headline which said that he, "Swills Vodka by the Tumblerful, Smokes Pot All Day and Uses Cocaine". He sued for defamation, and although the allegations of drug and alcohol use were found to be false, he was awarded only $1 for emotional distress and $1 as actual damages since there was no proof his career had been harmed. The court threw in an extra $45,000 as "presumed damages" to soothe his feelings, but felt he was entitled to more. The U.S. Supreme Court, which had the last word on the case, showed him no respect at all. It refused to hear his appeal.

  • Biography: Rodney Dangerfield, (A&E Home Video 1998)
  • Dangerfield v. Star Editorial, Inc., 1996 WL 508675 (9th Cir.) cert. den. 520 U.S. 1196 (1997)
  • 1939 photograph courtesy of the Richmond Hill Historical Society

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