He was born in Campbell County, Kentucky, of English-born parents who had immigrated to the US. By 1900 he was living with his parents and siblings in Cincinnati, Ohio, and in 1910 lived in Chicago. He was unrelated to Sam Ash, born Samuel Ashkynase (1897–1956), founder of the eponymous musical instrument store, despite some erroneous claims that they were one and the same person. He first recorded as a tenor singer for Columbia Records in 1914, and the following year found success in a duet with Elida Morris, "Hello Frisco!" from the Broadway musical Ziegfeld Follies of 1915. In December 1915 he appeared on the Broadway stage, in a leading role in Rudolf Friml's operetta Katinka, which ran for over 200 performances. He recorded regularly for Columbia over the next few years. In 1915 he made one of his most commercially successful recordings, "America, I Love You", and in 1917 he recorded "Cleopatra Had a Jazz Band". His regular appearances in Broadway revues included Doing Our Bit (1917), Monte Cristo Jr. (1919), and Oh, What A Girl! (1919) among others. In the 1920s he continued to record for Columbia as well as for a number of other record labels, including Little Wonder, Gennett, Grey Gull, and OKeh. He also continued to appear in Broadway musicals, including Some Party in 1922, The Passing Show of 1922, and Houseboat on the Styx in 1928.From 1929, he was based in Hollywood. He made his film debut that year, third on the bill as a suspect in the Craig Kennedy mystery Unmasked, starring Robert Warwick in his first "talkie". Over the next two decades he had hundreds of small parts in movies, playing characters such as waiters, news vendors, ship stewards, and reporters. In Mad Love, starring Peter Lorre, his role was one of the detectives seeking the murderer. In It's a Wonderful Life, in 1946, he played the part of the nervous bank teller trying to calm the crowd when they demand their savings. Ash also featured in a number of popular film serials such as Dick Tracy, The Masked Marvel, and Captain America. He appeared in 205 movies between 1929 and 1953; his last two films were released posthumously. He died in Hollywood in 1951, at the age of 67, and was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.
Ashkynasse was born to Moishe and Mottl Ashkynase in a small town in Austria-Hungary on August 21, 1897. In 1907 his family immigrated to the United States., settling on Hopkinson Avenue in Brooklyn. When Ash's father Morris became unemployed after contending with a tumor, he entered the workforce to help with his family's finances, working as an apprentice as a cutter in the garment industry. At the same time Ash was discovering that his true passion was playing the violin. Ash began teaching music lessons and later formed the Sam Ash Orchestra, performing at weddings, dances, and Jewish organizations around the New York City area.
Movies & TV shows
Naive small-town girl gets pregnant on her prom night, and winds up in the clutches of the local abortionist. Depending on the release presentation, the movie includes an animation of conception, film...
Sarge Goes to College
A Marine Sergeant wounded in overseas combat service, requires an operation, and Navy psychiatrist Captain R. S. Handler, recommends to Marine Captain Russ Morgan and Colonel Winters that "Sarge" be g...
Fun on a Weekend
Shy, destitute Peter Porter meets equally impoverished Nancy Crane at a Florida beach. Inspired by Peter's belief that a person can acquire wealth simply by creating an aura of success, the outgoing N...
Angel on My Shoulder
Gangster Eddie Kagel is killed by a trusted lieutenant and finds himself in Harry Redmond Jr's special effects Hell, where Nick/The Devil sees that he is an-exact double for a judge of whom Nick doesn...
It's a Wonderful Life
It's a holiday favourite for a long time. George Bailey has been giving to the people of the Falls for a long time. Rich skinflint Mr is prevented by all of that. George's modest building and loan com...
Two hit men walk into a diner asking for a man called "the Swede". When the killers find the Swede, he's expecting them and doesn't put up a fight. Since the Swede had a life insurance policy, an inve...
Faces in the Fog
Tom and Cora Elliott love their active social life so much that they neglect their daughter Mary and son Les. Fred Mason, Tom's neighbor and the doctor at the defense plant employing Tom, worries abou...
A woman who rejects the love of her husband must face the loss of her youthful appearance.
The Heat's On
After an absence of three years, Mae West returned to the screen in the musical comedy The Heat's On. La West is cast as Fay Lawrence, a famous Broadway actress who is loved intensely by her producer ...
A conman poses as a war relief fundraiser, but when he falls for a charity worker, his conscience begins to trouble him.
Mission to Moscow
Ambassador Joseph Davies is sent by FDR to Russia to learn about the Soviet system and returns to America as an advocate of Stalinism.
The Incredible Stranger
In December 1892, a silent mysterious and very private man, for whom a new house has just been built, arrives in the small town of Bridgewood to keep a promise.
Fingers at the Window
Chicago is gripped by an Axe Murderer. The streets are empty at night as there has been six murders and six people have been caught, but they are lunatics. Only one person has lived to tell about it, ...
Charles Foster Kane was taken from his mother when he was a child and made the ward of a rich industrialist. Every well-meaning, tyrannical or self-destructive move he makes for the rest of his life a...
Devil Pays Off
A former Navy man attempts to redeem his honor by exposing a shipping tycoon's dealings with the enemy.
Flight from Destiny
After his doctor informs him he will die in six months, Professor Henry Todhunter decides to spend his last days killing someone who contributes nothing but harm to society. When Henry learns that his...
The Lady Eve
When wealthy Charles falls for Jean, it's not an accident. Jean is a con artist who wants to take advantage of Charles' wealth. Jean starts falling for her mark, which complicates the situation. Jean ...
Falsely convicted of murder, young Robert Draper (Robert Preston) escapes custody during a practice blackout drill. Under cover of darkness, Draper hopes to find the real killer, who turns out to be a...
West Point Widow
In this romance, a hospital nurse marries a West Point football hero. She soon gets pregnant, but this doesn't stop her from annulling the marriage so as not to interfere with her husband's military c...
Mandrake the Magician
Feature version of the American serial film, produced for export only, never exhibited in the USA, and believed to be a lost film.
Island of Doomed Men
Undercover agent Mark Sheldon gets paroled to a remote tropical island with a diamond mine manned by slave labor run by sadistic Stephen Danel.
A hermit's idyllic life on an island is disturbed by the arrival of a bunch of cutthroats.
Christmas in July
An office clerk loves entering contests in the hopes of someday winning a fortune and marrying the girl he loves. His latest attempt is the Maxford House Coffee Slogan Contest. As a joke, some of his ...
North West Mounted Police
"Aren't that a contradiction in terms?", another character asks the Texas Ranger, who traveled to Canada in the 1880s in search of Jacques Corbeau, who was wanted for murder. He wanders into the midst...
Five Little Peppers at Home
The second entry in the four "Five Little Peppers" films finds the family struggling to keep their copper mine when their elderly business partner becomes ill.
The Way of All Flesh
Paul Kriza is a cashier of a bank in a small town, and the happy husband of Anna and the father of four children. He is sent to New York to deliver some securities for the bank. There, he is tagged as...
The House Across the Bay
Nightclub owner Steve Larwitt sees his empire of investments collapse as he faces tax evasion charges and is attacked by his rivals. Believing Steve will be safer in prison for one year, his wife, who...
Women Without Names
Joyce and Fred MacNeil's honeymoon comes to an abrupt and unsatisfying halt when Fred is accused of murder. Railroaded into prison through the efforts of politically ambitious assistant DA Marlin (Joh...
Betty Bryant is an ambitious newspaper reporter in love with Dan Barton, a member of a big-city Emergency Squad who are trained to deal with riots, cave-in, explosions, fires and other emergencies whe...
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Naive and idealistic Jefferson Smith, leader of the Boy Rangers, is appointed to the United States Senate by the puppet governor of his state. He soon discovers, upon going to Washington, many shortco...
Mandrake the Magician
Mandrake and his team attempt to prevent "The Wasp" from stealing and using a new Radium invention.
The Union Pacific Railroad can be pushed across the wilderness to California thanks to one of the last bills signed by President Lincoln. Asa Barrows is a financial opportunist who wants to make money...
Starting in 1913 movie director Connors discovers singer Molly Adair. As she becomes a star she marries an actor, so Connors fires them. She asks for him as director of her next film. Many silent star...
Honeymoon in Bali
Bill Burnett, a resident of Bali, visits New York City, meets and falls in love with Gail Allen, the successful manager of a Fifth Avenue shop, who is determined to remain free and independent. Bill p...
Young Mr. Lincoln
In this dramatized account of his early law career in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln is born into a modest log cabin, where he is encouraged by his first love, Ann Rutledge, to pursue law. Following her tr...
Stand Up and Fight
A southern aristocrat clashes with a driver transporting stolen slaves to freedom.
The Man They Could Not Hang
Dr. Henryk Savaard is a scientist working on experiments to restore life to the dead. When he is unjustly hanged for murder, he is brought back to life by his trusted assistant. Re-animated he turns d...
You and Me
Mr. Morris, the owner of a large metropolitan department store, gives jobs to paroled ex-convicts in an effort to help them reform and go straight. Among his 'employed-prison-graduates' are Helen Robe...
Gold Diggers in Paris
When the representative of the Paris International Dance Exposition arrives in New York to invite the Academy Ballet of America to compete for monetary prizes, the taxi driver mistakenly brings him to...
Love Is a Headache
A press agent for a Broadway actress whose career is going downhill is trying to get her some publicity by having her adopt two orphans without her knowledge.
Public Defender Gary Franklin, frustrated by being unable to save criminal Dutch Adams from a death sentence by blaming the slums environment as the cause of Dutch's crimes, enlists the aid of Dutch's...
The Austrian princess Marie Antoinette is going to marry the future king of France in order to gain favor with the other countries. Marie is an avid flirt and indulges in various hobbies. The French p...
A sleazy lawyer gains clients by showing up at terrible accidents. His boss, determined to stop him, hires a pretty girl to cozy up and coerce the truth out of the ambulance-chaser. Unfortunately, th...
An alcoholic woman was charged and tried for murder and a young defense attorney, unaware that she is his mother, takes the assignment to defend her in court.
Unable to get work in her home country, Laurine Lynne (Beverly Roberts) travels to Vienna where her press agent, Joe Craig (Allyn Joslyn), convinces her to marry royalty. The lucky fellow is Prince Ru...
In the 1840s, Ramsey MacKay, the driver for the struggling Wells Fargo mail and freight company, will secure an important contract if he delivers fresh oysters to Buffalo from New York City. When he r...
I Met Him in Paris
Kay Denham is off for a fling in Paris, leaving her suitor Berk behind. There, she meets two new suitors, Gene and George. Gene smooth-talks her into a junket to Switzerland, but George (with no illus...
Love Is News
When a crafty reporter uses false pretenses to get a story out of heiress Tony Gateson, she turns the tables on him, telling the press that they are engaged. Suddenly he's front page news, every sales...
You Can't Have Everything
Starving playwright Judith Wells meets playboy writer of musicals, George Macrae, over a plate of stolen spaghetti. He persuades producer Sam Gordon to buy her ridiculous play "North Winds" just to im...
When Mountain City racketeer Charles Gillette is acquitted, he arrives at the Mountain City World newsroom and vows revenge on the Better Government Committee who put him behind bars. Members of the c...
Vera Kowalska is accused of killing concert pianist Michael Michailow. Vera's life was ruined a long time ago by Michael.
Robin Hood of El Dorado
In the 1840's Mexico has ceded California to the United States, making life nearly impossible for the Mexican population due to the influx of land and gold-crazy Americans. Farmer Joaquin Murrieta rev...
And Sudden Death
An heiress with a penchant for speeding runs afoul of a traffic cop. Romance develops between the two, but it's soon complicated when he believes she is responsible for killing someone due to reckless...
They Met in a Taxi
A cab driver takes in a young woman who claims to be a reluctant bride, and becomes involved in the search for a stolen necklace.
Stars Over Broadway
An aggressive agent turns a hotel porter into an overnight sensation.
Paris in Spring
Afraid of marriage, Simone (Mary Ellis) breaks off her long term engagement with her fiancé Paul de Lille (Tullio Carminati). Paul heads to the top of The Eiffel Tower with thoughts of suicide. In ano...
A phoney "psychic" ring tricks a pretty young circus performer into working for them.
A taxi driver travels to Venice and poses as a gondolier to land a radio singing job.
Melodrama about the professional and romantic problems of an aspiring singer.
An insane surgeon's obsession with an actress leads him to replace her wounded pianist husband's hands with the hands of a knife murderer-- hands which still have the urge to throw knives.
Kiss and Make-Up
Dr. Maurice Lamar is a noted plastic-surgeon who makes his rich clients beautiful, and also makes them. He makes Eve Caron, the wife of Marcel Caron, so satisfied with his skilled hands that she leave...
Girl without a Room
In this comedy, a Tennessee art school student wins a scholarship to paint in Paris. He is thrilled until he arrives and discovers that his style is hopelessly passe and is considered trashy. The ente...
Kitty Lorraine has one purpose in life: turning her daughter Shirley into a star. Kitty controls every aspect of the girl's nascent career -- even blackmailing a stage manager so that Shirley can take...
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sam_Ash_(actor)", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.