Known for movies

Short Info

DiedJune 13, 1986, New York City, New York, United States
SpouseAlice Hammond Duckworth
MarkTheme songs: "Let's Dance" (opening theme), "Goodbye" (closing theme)
FactKennedy Center Honors recipient in 1982.

Benny Goodman was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 30, 1909. His parents, David and Dora Goodman, were Jewish immigrants from Russia. Benny had four siblings: Harry, Abe, Fanny, and Jennie. Benny’s father was a tailor and his mother was a homemaker. Benny’s early education took place at the Kehelah Jacob Synagogue and at the Henry Street Settlement House. It was at the Henry Street Settlement House where Benny first took up the clarinet.

Benny’s career began in the early 1920s when he started playing in local Chicago clubs. He soon made a name for himself and began touring with various bands. In 1934, Benny formed his own band and began touring the country. The Benny Goodman Band became one of the most popular bands of the 1930s and 1940s. They were known for their high-energy performances and for popularizing swing music.

Benny Goodman was one of the most popular and influential musicians of his time. He helped to make jazz and swing music mainstream. He was also known for his impeccable technique and for his ability to play complex solos. Benny Goodman passed away on June 13, 1986 at the age of 77.

General Info

Full NameBenny Goodman
DiedJune 13, 1986, New York City, New York, United States
ProfessionActor, Composer, Songwriter, Clarinetist, Sing Sing Sing, Don't Be That Way, Stompin' at the Savoy


SpouseAlice Hammond Duckworth
ChildrenBenjie Goodman, Rachel Goodman, Sing Sing Sing, Don't Be That Way, Stompin' at the Savoy
ParentsDora Grisinsky, David Goodman, Sing Sing Sing, Don't Be That Way, Stompin' at the Savoy
SiblingsHarry Goodman


AwardsKennedy Center Honors, Grammy Hall of Fame, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, American Music Award of Merit, Sing Sing Sing, Don't Be That Way, Stompin' at the Savoy
MoviesA Song Is Born, Make Mine Music, Sweet and Low-Down, The Gang's All Here, Upbeat in Music, The Powers Girl, Hollywood Hotel, Benny Goodman at the Tivoli, Benny Goodman: Live at Basin Street East, Road to Victory, The Sacred Flame
TV ShowsStar Time, The Big Party

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
1Theme songs: "Let's Dance" (opening theme), "Goodbye" (closing theme)


1There's no one else like her, and I presume there never will be. (on friend Peggy Lee)


1Kennedy Center Honors recipient in 1982.
2He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6101 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
3Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 337-340. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.
4His funeral included a nonsectarian service and Bible passages read by all five of his daughters. His Eulogy was given by his attorney and friend, Bill Hyland.
5He had two daughters: Rachel (born May 2, 1943) and Benjie (born April, 1946). He also had three step-daughters: Gillian, Shirley, and Sophia. All five daughters grew up in Benny's house.
6Charter inductee of the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1978.
7Benny Goodman was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988.
8Pictured on one of a set of four 29¢ US commemorative postage stamps in the Legends of American Music series, issued 11 September 1996, celebrating big band leaders. Other band leaders honored in this issue are Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, and Jimmy Dorsey, and Glenn Miller.
9Interred at Long Ridge Cemetery, Stamford, Connecticut, USA
10Clarinetist/orchestra leader.




Allied2016writer: "Flying Home"
tap tap tap2015Short "Sing, Sing, Sing"
American Horror Story2015TV Series performer - 3 episodes
The Intern2015/Iperformer: "Ain't Misbehavin'"
Little Boy2015writer: "If Dreams Come True"
Dancing with the Stars2014TV Series 1 episode
The Marty Stuart Show2014TV Series writer - 1 episode
Cesar Chavez2014performer: "Darktown Strutters Ball"
Six by Sondheim2013TV Movie documentary performer: "You Must Meet My Wife"
Waterloo Road2013TV Series performer - 1 episode
Average Consumer2013TV Series short performer - 1 episode
Bill W.2012Documentary performer: "I'm Like a Fish Out of Water", "Body & Soul"
Banda sonoraTV Series writer - 1 episode, 2012 performer - 1 episode, 2008
The Restorers {They Were All Volunteers}2011Documentary writer: "Stompin' at the Savoy"
Mildred PierceTV Mini-Series performer - 1 episode, 2011 writer - 1 episode, 2011
The Future2011performer: "Where or When"
Michael Feinstein's American Songbook2010TV Mini-Series documentary performer - 1 episode
Mafia II2010Video Game performer: "SING, SING, SING WITH A SWING"
Frankie Manning: Ambassador of the Lindy Hop2010Video documentary short writer: "Stompin' At The Savoy"
Los nuevos y clásicos bloopers2010TV Series performer - 2 episodes
The Pacific2010TV Mini-Series performer - 1 episode
Cold Case2005-2009TV Series performer - 3 episodes
Glorious 392009performer: "Walkin' & Swingin'"
Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1940s: Stars, Stripes and Singing2009Video documentary performer: "Why Don't You Do Right?" - uncredited
August2008performer: "After You've Gone"
The Water Horse2007performer: "It's Only a Paper Moon"
Big Love2007TV Series performer - 1 episode
Melba Moore: Live in Concert2007Video writer: "Air Mail Special"
The Sopranos2000-2007TV Series performer - 2 episodes
Music and Lyrics2007performer: "Flying Home", "Rose Room", "It's Tight Like That" / writer: "Flying Home"
An American Girl on the Home Front2006TV Movie "Sing Sing Sing With a Swing"
Hollywoodland2006writer: "Flying Home"
So You Think You Can Dance2005-2006TV Series performer - 2 episodes
End of the Spear2005performer: "Don't Be That Way" / writer: "Don't Be That Way"
Cinderella Man2005writer: "Don't Be That Way" 1934
Carnivàle2005TV Series performer - 1 episode
Exorcist: The Beginning2004performer: "We'll Meet Again"
The Notebook2004performer: "Always and Always", "One O'Clock Jump" - uncredited
Independent Lens2004TV Series documentary writer - 1 episode
Crooked Lines2003performer: "Sing, Sing, Sing With a Swing"
Mona Lisa Smile2003writer: "Flying Home"
Miss Match2003TV Series performer - 1 episode
I Capture the Castle2003writer: "Stompin' At The Savoy" - as Goodman
Below2002performer: "Sing, Sing, Sing With A Swing"
Hollywood Ending2002performer: "Hooray for Hollywood" 1937
Jimmy Scott: If You Only Knew2002Documentary writer: "Airmail Special" - as Goodman
Hart's War2002performer: "Idaho"
Livshunger2002TV Series music - 1 episode
Great Performances: Dance in America2001TV Series 1 episode
Pollock2000performer: "Sing, Sing, Sing"
Small Time Crooks2000writer: "Stompin' at the Savoy"
U-5712000performer: "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz"
American Masters1999TV Series documentary performer - 1 episode
La fille sur le pont1999performer: "Sing, Sing, Sing", "Bugle Call Rag", "Goodbye"
California's Gold1999TV Series documentary writer - 1 episode
The X-Files1998TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg1998Documentary writer: "Air Mail Special"
The Myth of Fingerprints1997writer: "Don't Be That Way"
The Game1997writer: "Life Goes To A Party"
Deconstructing Harry1997performer: "Sing Sing Sing With a Swing" 1936, "Christopher Columbus" 1936
Private Parts1997performer: "Moonglow"
My Fellow Americans1996writer: "Don't Be That Way"
The English Patient1996performer: "Wang Wang Blues" 1921, "One O'Clock Jump" 1933
How to Make an American Quilt1995performer: "Riffin' at the Ritz"
Le confessionnal1995writer: "Dark rapture"
Cari fottutissimi amici1994performer: "SING SING SING"
Baseball1994TV Mini-Series documentary performer - 2 episodes
The Hudsucker Proxy1994"Flying Home"
Malcolm X1992writer: "Flying Home"
Mr. Saturday Night1992performer: "After You've Gone", "Something New", "How High the Moon"
A League of Their Own1992writer: "Flying Home"
Northern Exposure1992TV Series performer - 1 episode
Lucky Luke1991writer: "Stompin' At The Savoy" - as Goodman
The Marrying Man1991writer: "STOMPIN' AT THE SAVOY"
American Experience1991TV Series documentary performer - 1 episode
Memphis Belle1990writer: "Flying Home"
When Harry Met Sally...1989writer: "Stompin' At The Savoy", "Don't Be That Way"
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade1989performer: "You're a Sweet Little Headache" 1939
New York Stories1989performer: "Sing, Sing, Sing"
Crossing Delancey1988performer: "IT HAD TO BE YOU"
Big Business1988performer: "Sing Sing Sing "
Laguna Heat1987TV Movie performer: "You Go To My Head"
Hope and Glory1987performer: "Flat Foot Floogie"
In the Mood1987writer: "STOMPIN' AT THE SAVOY", "DON'T BE THAT WAY"
Radio Days1987performer: "Body and Soul" 1930, "Goodbye" 1934
Screen Two1987TV Series music - 1 episode
Miss Mary1986performer: "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby", "It's Been So Long"
Power1986performer: "Sing, Sing, Sing"
Star 801983performer: "Sing Sing Sing"
The Atomic Cafe1982Documentary writer: "Flying Home"
Zoot Suit1981writer: "Two O'Clock Jump" - uncredited
True Confessions1981performer: "Memories of You"
Raggedy Man1981performer: "The Lady's In Love With You"
They All Laughed1981performer: "SING, SING, SING"
Raging Bull1980performer: "Jersey Bounce" 1936
Joe Albany... a Jazz Life1980Documentary music: "Stompin' at the Savoy"
Stardust Memories1980writer: "If Dreams Come True" 1936 - as B. Goodman
Saturday Night Live1979TV Series writer - 1 episode
The 32nd Annual Tony Awards1978TV Special performer: "Sing, Sing, Sing With a Swing"
F.I.S.T.1978writer: "Stompin' at the Savoy" - uncredited
Slither1973"Stompin' At The Savoy"
Save the Tiger1973writer: "Air Mail Special", "Stompin' At The Savoy"
Happy Days1970TV Series writer - 1 episode
Army of Shadows1969writer: "Stompin' At The Savoy" - uncredited
Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music + Ella + Jobim1967TV Special music: "Stompin' at the Savoy" - uncredited / writer: "Don't Be That Way" - uncredited
The Danny Kaye ShowTV Series writer - 1 episode, 1966 performer - 1 episode, 1965
The Lively Ones1963TV Series performer - 1 episode
Jazz Party1958TV Series writer - 3 episodes
Kiss Them for Me1957music: "Stompin' at the Savoy" - uncredited
Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall1957TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Benny Goodman Story1956"Original Dixieland One Step" / performer: "Goodbye" / writer: "Don't Be That Way", "Stompin' At the Savoy"
OmnibusTV Series 1 episode, 1955 performer - 1 episode, 1953
Show Time at the Apollo1955TV Series writer - 1 episode
I Love Lucy1953TV Series writer - 1 episode
Frank DeVol and His Orchestra1953Short writer: "Stompin' at the Savoy"
The Pride of St. Louis1952music: "Stompin' at the Savoy" - uncredited
The Paul Whiteman's Goodyear Revue1952TV Series music - 1 episode
I'll Get By1950music: "Stompin' at the Savoy"
The Stratton Story1949music: "Stompin' at the Savoy" - uncredited
A Song Is Born1948performer: "Anitra's Boogie", "Stealin' Apples" 1936, "Flying Home" 1939 - uncredited / writer: "Flying Home" 1939 - uncredited
The Drummer Man1947Short "Stompin' at the Savoy"
After You've Gone1946Short performer: "After You've Gone"
Melody Time1946Short writer: "Don't Be That Way" - uncredited
Make Mine Music1946performer: "After You've Gone" 1918 - as Goodman
Sweet and Low-Down1944arranger: "Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K.581" 1789 - uncredited / music: "Rachel's Dream" 1939, "Stompin' at the Savoy" 1934 - uncredited / performer: "I'm Making Believe" 1944, "Hey Bub! Let's Have a Ball" 1944, "Rachel's Dream" 1939 uncredited, "Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K.581" 1789 uncredited
The Shining Future1944Short performer: "Sing, Sing. Sing" - uncredited
The Gang's All Here1943performer: "Minnie's in the Money", " I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo", "Paducah" - uncredited / writer: "Soft Winds" - uncredited
Springtime in the Rockies1942writer: "Two O'Clock Jump"
Hi Gang!1941performer: "Moonglow" - uncredited
Love on Tap1939Short music: "Stompin' at the Savoy" 1934
It's in the Stars1938Short music: "Stompin' at the Savoy" - uncredited
Man-Proof1938music: "Stompin' at the Savoy" 1935 - uncredited
Hollywood Hotel1937"I've Got a Heartful of Music" 1937, uncredited / arranger: "Satan's Holiday" 1934 - uncredited
George Hall and His Orchestra1937Short music: "Stompin' at the Savoy" - uncredited
Sinner Take All1936writer: "Stompin' at the Savoy" - uncredited


African Patrol1958TV SeriesSparkey
A Song Is Born1948Professor Magenbruch
Make Mine Music1946Benny Goodman
Sweet and Low-Down1944Leader of His Band
The Road to Victory1944ShortBenny Goodman (uncredited)
The Shining Future1944ShortBenny Goodman
The Gang's All Here1943Benny Goodman
Stage Door Canteen1943Conductor of the Benny Goodman Orchestra
The Powers Girl1943Orchestra Conductor
Syncopation1942Benny Goodman
Birth of the Blues1941Benny Goodman
Hollywood Hotel1937Leader of His Orchestra
The Big Broadcast of 19371936Benny Goodman

Music Department

Fantasma d'amore1981musician: clarinet solo
The Lonely Night1954Documentary musician: clarinet
After You've Gone1946Short musician: clarinet - as Goodman
All the Cats Join In1946Short musician: clarinet


Quidam dégomme2007Short
Benny Goodman: Legends in Concert - The Last Performance2004TV Movie
Ça va plaire1980TV Movie


Benny Goodman: Legends in Concert - The Last Performance2004TV Movie
Sweet and Low-Down1944contributor to story - uncredited


The David Frost Show1971TV SeriesHimself
Drei mal neun1971TV SeriesHimself - Musician
The Bell Telephone Hour1960-1966TV SeriesHimself - Clarinetist / Himself - Clarinetist in the Orchestra / Themselves - Jazz Combo / ...
The Danny Kaye Show1965TV SeriesHimself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1962-1965TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Lively Ones1963TV SeriesHimself - Clarinetist / Himself - Performer
The World of Benny Goodman1963TV MovieHimself
What's My Line?1950-1962TV SeriesHimself - Mystery Guest
Carnegie Hall Salutes Jack Benny1961TV SpecialHimself
The Ed Sullivan Show1948-1960TV SeriesHimself / Clarinetist / Band Leader
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show1960TV SeriesHimself
The Big Party1959TV SeriesHimself
Swing Into Spring!1959TV MovieHimself
The Garry Moore Show1959TV SeriesHimself
The All-Star Christmas Show1958TV MovieHimself
Studio One in Hollywood1958TV SeriesHimself
The Jack Paar Tonight Show1958TV SeriesHimself
The Big Record1957TV SeriesHimself
Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall1957TV SeriesHimself
The DuPont Show of the Month1957TV SeriesHimself
The Steve Allen Plymouth Show1957TV SeriesHimself
Washington Square1957TV SeriesHimself
Benny Goodman Orchestra1957TV MovieHimself - Clarinet
Allen in Movieland1955TV MovieHimself
The Martha Raye Show1955TV SeriesHimself
Person to Person1954TV Series documentaryHimself
The Jackie Gleason Show1953TV SeriesHimself - Guest Clarinetist
Omnibus1953TV SeriesHimself
Wonderful Town, U.S.A.1951TV SeriesHimself
Kreisler Bandstand1951TV SeriesHimself
Showtime, U.S.A.1950TV SeriesHimself
Star Time1950TV SeriesHimself - Musician
Upbeat in Music1943Documentary shortHimself - Band Leader
Ben Pollack and His Park Central Orchestra1929ShortHimself / Clarinet (uncredited)
Me and the Boys1929ShortHimself / Clarinet
Jazz2001TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Benny Goodman: Let's Dance - A Musical Tribute1986TV MovieHimself
The 28th Annual Grammy Awards1986TV SpecialHimself
Åke Hasselgård story1983Documentary
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts1982TV SpecialHimself - Honoree
Signature1981TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Good Morning America1979TV SeriesHimself
The Mike Douglas Show1978TV SeriesHimself - Musician
Mitzi... What's Hot, What's Not1978TV SpecialHimself
All You Need Is Love1977TV Series documentaryHimself
Evening at Pops1974TV Series documentaryHimself
This Is Your Life1973TV SeriesHimself (on tape)
Timex All-Star Swing Festival1972TV SpecialHimself
Le grand échiquier1972TV SeriesHimself
Parkinson1971TV SeriesHimself

Archive Footage

My Music: Starlight Ballroom2015TV MovieHimself
Sinatra: All or Nothing at All2015TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
To Russia with Jazz2011TV Movie documentaryHimself
Michael Feinstein's American Songbook2010TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Io sono Tony Scott, ovvero come l'Italia fece fuori il più grande clarinettista del jazz2010DocumentaryHimself
Johnny Mercer: The Dream's on Me2009TV Movie documentaryHimself
My Music: The Big Band Years2009TV MovieHimself
Trying to Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon2008DocumentaryHimself
Great Performances2003-2005TV SeriesHimself
Fanfare for America: The Composer Aaron Copland2001TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Sid Caesar Collection: The Magic of Live TV2000Video documentaryHimself
American Masters1993-1999TV Series documentaryHimself
The Century: America's Time1999TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
The 20th Century: A Moving Visual History1999TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Benny Goodman's Greatest Hits1997TV MovieHimself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1992TV SeriesHimself
The Ladies Sing the Blues1989Himself
Brother Can You Spare a Dime1975Documentary
Fred Astaire Salutes the Fox Musicals1974TV MovieHimself
Music Land1955Orchestra Leader
For Auld Lang Syne1938Documentary shortHimself: Clip from 'Hollywood Hotel' (uncredited)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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