Academy Award winning actor Red Buttons, July 13 Red Buttons, the impish former burlesque comic who became an early TV sensation and an Academy Award-winning character actor during a career that spanned more than seven decades, died Thursday, July 13, 2006, at his home in Centur City, Calif. He was 87. "Red was one of the few comedians who was a great actor ...," comedian Jack Carter said. Buttons' 1957 role in Sayonara as the tragic Airman Joe Kelly, who marries his Japanese sweetheart despite a military policy forbidding interracial marriage, earned him an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best supporting actor. "I'm a little guy," Buttons said at the time, "and that's what I play all the time a little guy and his troubles." Altogether he appeared in more than 30 movies, including Hatari!, The Longest Day, Harlow, Stagecoach (the 1966 remake), They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, The Poseidon Adventure, 18 Again! and It Could Happen to You.
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