- Jules Munshin -

A Brief Biography

Born February 22, 1915, Jules Munshin is the oldest son of Russian immigrants Gershon “Joseph” Munshin and Mollie Munshin. He was raised in the Bronx and
attended James Monroe High School. Growing up during the depression, Munshin took to the arts at an early age. He got his start in school productions and spent his summers working in the “Jewish Alps”, the Catskills, at Camp Tamiment.

At an early age Munshin also served in the military. (from 10/1/42 - 1/1/46) He was a member of the Army’s T/4 (sergeant), Signal Corps during World War II. During the war Jules performed for the troops in several military revue style shows, one of which led him back to NYC and on Broadway.

In November of 1943 Jules married his first wife, Anne Renee Anderson in Chicago.  Anne was a performer/dancer and was on stage with Carol Channing in the show Lend Me An Ear. While back in New York he carved a niche for himself as an accomplished song-and-dance artist, starring in Call Me Mister alongside Poconos friend Betty Garrett. It was during Call Me Mister that Munshin and Garrett were discovered by Louis B. Mayer and brought to Hollywood to appear under contract in M-G-M musicals.

Munshin’s film debut was as a wonderfully foppish waiter in the film Easter Parade alongside Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford, and Ann Miller. He would then be re-teamed with his stage partner Garrett in Take Me Out to the Ball Game. It was with this film that M-G-M discovered Munshin had a wonderful chemistry with its stars Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.

Jules is most known for his role as “Ozzie, (Sailor #3)” in the Gene Kelly/Arthur Freed film On The Town. Called “Prehistoric Man” by his on screen love interest Ann Miller, Munshin proved to be a Hollywood success story. This was Munshin’s most recognizable role. Film fans loved their song “New York, New York.” Yet Munshin’s first love always seemed to be the stage. After On The Town, Munshin continued to appear in film but longed to return to the stage.

Munshin bounced back and forth from film, to TV, to Broadway and national touring companies, entertaining the masses however he could. In 1950 Jules returned to the stage in Bless You All. He was seen on various TV shows and stage projects and in the late 50s returned to film in Monte Carlo Baby (1953); and as Bibinski, a Russian Commissar in Silk Stockings (1957) with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. Also in 1957 he costarred with Dean Martin in Ten Thousand Bedrooms.

1957 was a big year for Jules. Not only did he appear in Silk Stockings and Ten Thousand Bedrooms, but he appeared on TV on The Ed Sullivan Show as well as The Kraft Theatre Presents: Sing A Song. In addition to TV, Munshin’s newest foray was into the realm of author with the release of his humor book, Dear Anybody, ...Or the Crafty Letter-Writer; a collection of funny short letters.

He later went on to achieve additional Broadway credits including The Gay Life and Barefoot in the Park. Jules also continued many higher profile TV appearances including; Shirley Temple’s Storybook, The Red Skelton Show, The Dick Powell Theatre, Car 54 Where Are You?, Dr. Kildare, and That Girl.

In 1962 Munshin married dancer Bonnie Lynn Pollman and had two children, David and Stephen. The family toured with Munshin while he journeyed on the road in several national tours. In the last years of his life he had a lengthy stint as Fagan in the National Tour of Oliver!

On February 19, 1970 Munshin tragically died at the age of 54 from a heart attack, three days before his 55th birthday. He’s buried at The Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, NY.