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“Nothing Little about his talent”

Rich Little

World famous voice impressionist Rich Little has been performing almost all his life. As a kid he spent hours in Ottawa’s darkened theatres studying the voices and mannerisms of actors on the screen.

That’s where I lost myself. Then I would come home and act out the whole movie in front of my parents ... My dad said he never went to a movie because I did it for him free.

At school Rich would answer the teachers in their own voice. While working as a radio announcer in Ottawa, crowds rushed to the station when he announced that Elvis Presley would be filling in for him and then proceeded as if Elvis was indeed in the building.

Luck was on his side when, in his early 20s, he gambled and went to New York to audition for the Judy Garland network TV show. She hired him and since then he has carved a career that will fill a book. In an industry where stars rise and fall, his star has stayed up for over 40 years.

Here’s how he explains his longevity: “Dick, I always keep busy and up to date, adding new voices. I play a lot of club and concert dates and some TV. I am busy writing and doing the charcoal sketches for my book, which I hope to have out next year, called ‘People I’ve Known and Been.”

His advice to aspiring entertainers: “You need some luck. But you must have a good manager and a good agent. I would say that over the two you really need a good agent, someone to sell you.”

His professional life has been filled with many highs, none higher than the night Frank Sinatra flew to Ottawa with his entire orchestra, at his own expense, to join Rich on stage. “Together we raised $1 million for the Rich Little Neo Natal Centre ... life doesn’t get much better than that.

I have interviewed Rich Little twice, several years ago over a quiet dinner, and recently over the phone from his home in Las Vegas. It amazes me how he continues to be so easy to meet and accessible. The hat he wore when he left Ottawa for New York 40 years ago would still fit today —success has not gone to his head. He’s another Canadian Achiever.

Read more about Rich Little at www.canadianachievers.com
 

Next week read the story of one of Canada's Top 40 under 40 business leaders, Ian Wilson.

 

 Editors, please do not print the information inside of this box

More information on Rich Little:

Released December 2006:
Rich Little’s Christmas Carol and Robin Hood Double Feature DVD with Bonus Narration from Rich and director Trevor Evan's available at www.richlittle.com

Released June 2006:
Will the Real Rich Little Please Stand Up available at www.richlittle.com

Rich appeared on Late Show with David Letterman, Monday, November 13th:
From the New York Post, November 15, 2006: Monday's "Late Show" tied the "Tonight Show" (overnights) and notched its best ratings this season (guests: Rich Little, George Jones).

In addition – FYI – Rich also does Celebrity charcoal drawings and these are currently available at www.raart.org.
 

 

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