Biography: Milt Gross

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Birth/Death

Birth: March 4, 1895, Bronx, New York
Death: November 29, 1953 Los Angeles, California

Occupation/Title

Comic book writer, illustrator, and animator

Bio Summary

Born in 1895 in the Bronx he began an early career at the age of 20 working for New York Journal on a comic strip titled Phool Phan Phables. Gross would continue to work on comics for newspapers and journals until 1926 when is work on Nize Baby, and Hiawatta witt no odder would be published in book form. Many of his comic strip characters would appear in animations throughout this time. In 1930 he released his book He Done Her Wrong, which is considered what Milt Gross is most famous for, a collection of non-dialect woodcut parodies of novels. By the 1940′s Gross was working on films scripts in Hollywood and a radio show based on That’s My Pop!.Gross died in 1953 from a heart attack after semi-retiring in 1945 from a first heart attack.

Early Life/Family

Little is written regarding this early life or family life. Milt Gross served as a solider in World War I. Some mentions are made to Mrs. Gross who allowed reproductions of his images, but little else has been suggested

Education/Training

Career Outline

- Apprentice to T.A. Dorgan as a teenager
- 1915, Began work at New York Journal on Phool Phan Phables at the age of 20
- Gross Exaggerations for the New York World
- 1926, Nize Baby is published and later created in a color comic strip
- 1926, Hiawatta witt no odder poems is published.
- 1927, De Night in De Front From Chreesmas, Dunt Esk
- 1928, Witt Odder Ewents From Heestory
- 1930, He Done Her Wrong: The Great American Novel and Not a Word in It – No Music, Too is published
- 1933, Hired by William Randolph Hearst for various comic strips (Count Screwlooose of Tooloose, Dave’s Delicatessen, Babbling Brooks, Otto and Botto, That’s my Pop!)
- 1936, published Pasha the Persian and What’s This?
- 1939, worked on the animations Jitterbug Follies and Wanted: No Master
- 1945, published Dear Dollink
- 1946, I Shouda Ate the Éclair was the last book published before he died.
- 1946-47, Gross’ work appeared in the comic book Picture News.

Comments On Style

Influences

Personality

Noted as a ‘warm-hearted and generous cartoonist’ by Cartoon Profiles magazine.

Anecdotes

Milt Gross wrote his comics using Yiddish-inflected English. He originated the phrase “Banana Oil!” and “Iggy, keep an eye on me!” as a national catch phrase.

Hollywood filmed “Nize Baby”, as a feature film in 1928, or early 1929. Anna Rose Lossieff was the Baby featured, but for unknown reasons the movie was shelved before release

Miscellaneous

Filmography

Writer:

The Ups and Down of Mr. Phool Phan (1917)
Useless Hints by Fuller Prunes (1919)
We’ll Say They Do (1919)
Tumult in Toy Town (1919)
Frenchy Discovers America (1920)
Ginger Snaps (1920/I)
How My Vacation Spent Me (1920)
Ginger Snaps (1920/II)
Izzy Able the Detective (1921)
Othello Sap’s Wonderful Invention (1921)
… aka The Cow Milker (USA)
Scrap Hangers (1922)
Taxes (1922)
If We Reversed (1923)
Thin Ice (1937) (contributing writer) (uncredited)
… aka Komet, Der (Canada: English title)
… aka Lovely to Look at (UK)
Sis Hopkins (1941)
Rookies on Parade (1941) (screenplay)
… aka Jamboree (UK)
Puddin’ Head (1941) (screenplay)
… aka Judy Goes to Town (UK)
The Ghost and the Guest (1943) (story)
Ghost Catchers (1944) (story “High Spirits”)

Director:

The Ups and Down of Mr. Phool Phan (1917)
Useless Hints by Fuller Prunes (1919)
We’ll Say They Do (1919)
Tumult in Toy Town (1919)
Frenchy Discovers America (1920)
Ginger Snaps (1920/I)
How My Vacation Spent Me (1920)
Ginger Snaps (1920/II)
Izzy Able the Detective (1921)
Othello Sap’s Wonderful Invention (1921)
… aka The Cow Milker (USA)
Scrap Hangers (1922)
Taxes (1922)
If We Reversed (1923)
Wanted: No Master (1939)
Jitterbug Follies (1939)

Animatior:

Scrap Hangers (1922)
Taxes (1922)
If We Reversed (1923)

Honors

The Nationalist Cartoonist Society’s fund to aid indigent cartoonists and their families used to be known as the Milt Gross Fund.

Related Links

Bibliographic References

Lambiek.net – http://lambiek.net/artists/g/gross_m.htm
BPIB - http://www.bpib.com/gross.htm
Internet Movie Database - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0343456/
Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milt_Gross
Memories of Milt Gross, Izzy Klien (June 1974) – http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2008/07/milt-gross-20th-century-renaissance-man.html

Contributors To This Listing

Janell K.
Ale

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