IMOGENE COCA Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Imogene Fernandez de Coca                                                         
Born: 18 November 1908 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.                                 
Died: 10 June 2001 Westport, Connecticut U.S.                                           
Imogene Fernandez de Coca (November 18, 1908 – June 2, 2001) was an American         
Emmy-winning comic actress best known for her role opposite Sid Caesar on Your         
Show of Shows.                                                                         
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Coca's parents were veterans of the                 
entertainment industry; her father, José Fernandez de Coca, was a well-known           
violinist and orchestra conductor, and her mother, Sadie Brady, was a dancer and       
magician's assistant.                                                                   
Coca took lessons in piano, dance, and voice as a child and while still a               
teenager moved from Philadelphia to New York City to become a dancer. She got           
her first job in the chorus of the Broadway musical When You Smile, and became a       
headliner in Manhattan nightclubs with music arranged by her first husband,             
Robert Burton. She gained prominence when she began to combine music with comedy;       
her first critical success was in New Faces of 1934.                                   
The handprints of Imogene Coca in front of Hollywood Hills Amphitheater at Walt         
Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.                                   
In the early days of live television, she played opposite Sid Caesar in a sketch       
comedy program, Your Show of Shows which was immensely popular from 1950 to 1954.       
She also had her own series, The Imogene Coca Show.                                     
She was nominated for a Tony Award for her final Broadway performance as               
religious zealot Letitia Primrose in On the Twentieth Century, a stage musical         
adapted from the 1934 film Twentieth Century. Coca's role – a religious fanatic       
who plasters decals onto every available surface – was a male in the original         
film (played by actor Etienne Girardot; for the stage adaptation, the role was         
rewritten specifically as a vehicle for Coca.                                           
Coca starred as a cavewoman with Joe E. Ross in the 1966-67 TV sitcom It's About       
Time and made memorable guest appearances on the sitcoms Bewitched as "Mary the         
Tooth Fairy", The Brady Bunch as "Aunt Jenny", and on Mama's Family as Gert in         
the episode "Gert Rides Again". Her later years were spent in relative solitude         
with only occasional TV guest appearances on Moonlighting and in small movie           
roles, including her memorable role as "Aunt Edna" in National Lampoon's               
On June 2, 2001, Coca died at her home in Westport, Connecticut, of natural             
causes incidental to Alzheimer's Disease. She was 92 years old. Coca had no             
children, but had been married twice; first to Bob Burton from 1934 until his           
death in 1953 and from 1960 until his death in 1987, she was married to King