His large ears were pinned back during his early films.
From the 1940s to the 1960s he owned 15% of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team.
His cameo in Angels in the Outfield was as part-owner of the team.
He was the first choice to play TV detective Columbo.
He was famously teased about his investment in racehorses that rarely won and his rather bad, almost colorblind, taste in casual clothes.
One of his early inspirations was Louis Armstrong, who returned the admiration.
After Judy Garland was fired from MGM about 1950, he was one of the first to offer her work on his radio show to help her out of her financial woes. The two had marvelous chemistry as a comedy duo, and many of these audio recordings still survive today.