Jackie Gleason once stated that Carney was 90% responsible for the success of "The Honeymooners" (1955).
3 children, Brian, Eileen, and Paul.
A wound in the leg while serving as a World War II infantryman left one leg slightly shorter and a noticeable limp for the rest of his life.
Appears as Ed Norton, with Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden, on a 44¢ USA commemorative postage stamp in the Early TV Memories issue honoring "The Honeymooners" (1955). The stamp was issued 11 August 2009.
Beat out Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Albert Finney, and Al Pacino to win his first and only Best Actor Oscar for Harry and Tonto (1974).
Before playing Ed Norton on The Honeymooners, Carney played a cop who gets hit by a barrel of flour in the first "Honeymooners" sketch on "The Jackie Gleason Show" (1952).
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 63-65. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. Pg. 93-94. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Brother of actor/director Fred Carney.
Father of actor Brian Carney.
First appeared as Ed Norton, the foil for star Jackie Gleason's Ralph Kramden character, when "The Honeymooners" was a regular skit between 1951-52 on the DuMont Network's "Cavalcade of Stars" (1949) TV program.
He talked his way into a job with the popular Horace Heidt Orchestra and went on the road for more than three years, doing impressions, novelty songs, and some announcing for Heidt's "Pot o' Gold" radio show. In 1941, when the orchestra was asked to make a movie, Carney was handed a bit part. He also specialized in dialects.
He was a voice-over regular on the popular 1930s radio series "Gangbusters" that featured weekly episodes based actual crime incidents. Each program ended with various descriptions of wanted criminals, many of whom were later arrested due to avid listener participation.
He was such a talented voice artist that he sometimes substituted for President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his famous "Fireside Chats" when Roosevelt was too ill to speak.
He was the voice of "Red Lantern:The Fish Priminister" on "The Land Of The Lost" children's radio show, which also starred Mae Questel and Naomi Lewis. "The Land Of The Lost" was heard on The ABC Radio Network during the mid 1940s. Mr. Carney also performed on another TV puppet special with "The Bil & Cora Baird Puppets" - "Art Carney Meets The Sorcerer's Apprentice" on The ABC TV Network. The show aired in the early 1960s.
His radio role as "Philly" on the "Joe and Ethel Turp Show" foreshadowed his "Honeymooners" characterization of Ed Norton.
In playing the 72 year old Harry character in Harry and Tonto (1974), the 55-year-old Carney convinced director Paul Mazursky by growing his own mustache, whitening his hair, wearing his own hearing aid and not trying to mask the limp he received from a World War II injury.
It was while appearing in "The Odd Couple" on Broadway that Carney suffered a nervous breakdown brought on by the failure of his twenty-five-year first marriage. He was forced to leave the play and enter a sanitarium for nearly six months.
Originated the role of Felix Ungar (opposite Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison) in Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" on Broadway in 1965.
Suffered a nervous breakdown over the end of his 25-year marriage to wife Jean due to his addictions to alcohol, amphetamines and barbiturates. After recovering fully in the 70s, he not only won an Oscar award but also his wife. They remarried.