Actor, standup comedian LeMaire dies

He got his start in vaudeville as a child

Actor, jazz musician and standup comedian Jack LeMaire, who got his start in vaudeville, died Oct. 18 in North Hollywood, Calif., of natural causes. He was 99.

LeMaire toured with Bob Hope and Johnny Grant doing standup for USO shows, ending each set with a song on his guitar. His passion for playing occasionaly overshadowed his love of comedy, and he can be heard on recordings with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, who nicknamed LeMaire “Chords.”

LeMaire started working vaudeville as a toddler with his father, George, in “The Ziegfeld Follies,” and soon moved on to film work, making 33 silent comedies with Pathe.

Among his other credits were 1958 TV series “Mac King,” 1959’s “The Lawless Years” and “Bat Masterson” plus 1964’s “The Farmer’s Daughters.”

Later in life, LeMaire appeared as Colonel Sanders in a number of KFC advertisements. Just last year, he performed in a sketch on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno.

Survivors include a son, two daughters, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Donations may be made to Actors and Others for Animals at

A memorial will be held at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Church of the Hills. Forest Lawn — Hollywood Hills 6300 Forest Lawn Dr. Los Angeles, 90068.

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