Hey, Summer Campers!
You know who else was a fan of summer camp? A man named Burgess Meredith. Despite the fact that he’s said to have been “one of the most accomplished actors of the [20th] century,” I’d be surprised if any of you knew who he was as his death most likely came before most of you were even born.
It might just be me, but I think he’s probably most popular for his role as The Penguin from the original, live-action ‘Batman’ television series that starred Adam West.
By 1997, Burgess died a 90-year-old man. But born in 1907, he became a star of the stage as well as the screen from the early thirties on. He also tried his hand (rather successfully) at directing later on in his life. He was nominated for a Tony Award in 1974 for his Broadway staging of an adaptation of James Joyce’s writings.
But before he did any of that, Burgess had his humble beginnings much like all of you today—at summer camp. Camp Dudley in New York, to be specific. Camp Dudley is the oldest summer camp in America that’s still in operation today. It would have to be so old to have been the summer camp of Burgess! Everything Summer Camp is proud to work with Camp Dudley—a summer camp with a history to it.
After his camp days, Burgess graduated from his high school and then went on to study at Amherst College—Class of 1931. After his college days came to an end, he served his country in World War II as a captain of the United States Army Air Forces until 1944. At that point he was discharged to star in a war movie being made. He played the role of Ernie Pyle, war correspondent.
From then on, Burgess stayed active in show business for over 60 years. In his time, Burgess won several Emmy Awards and became the first recipient of the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor twice. He was also nominated for a couple Academy Awards.
So be like Burgess, kids, and reach for the stars; maybe you’ll become one yourself! Thanks for reading.