Posted ByLaura Leff on December 11, 2002 at 01:43:07:
In Reply to: Rochester--2nd try posted byBT on December 11, 2002 at 01:17:46:
: I posted a note several months ago asking about sources of info, interviews, etc., about (or by) Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. There were no replies.
: I'm trying again--can anyone help me to learn more about "Rochester"? It's surprising if nobody has written a biography.
Indeed, no biography of which I am aware. Rochester is undoubtedly the most enigmatic of the regular cast, with the possible exception of Don Wilson.
There are stories about Roch being late for rehearsals, being lost at sea, running to meet trains at the next station loaded down with boxes of spare ribs, and that he owned race horses (see the upcoming issue of the Times) and loved boats as well. He had a heart attack while rehearsing for "The Shower of Stars" where Jack finally turns 40, and there's pictures in Life magazine of him being carried away on a stretcher. His stroke in the 60s damaged his delivery somewhat, but he was still able to put in appearances on at least one of Jack's specials. At the time of Jack's death, he was truly devastated and it's difficult to watch the videos or audios of his brief statements during that time.
But who Rochester was in private life remains fairly elusive. If memory serves, I think one of his sons was killed violently. Unfortunately, I can't remember the details at the moment.
It seems that Roch had no end of drama in his life, based on the few off-mike stories I've heard. It probably would make a great biography. It's unfortunate that there's not more first-hand reference material.