Jacob Rodney Cohen (1921-1940)
He was born in 1921 to Hungarian Jewish immigrant parents in Long Island. His father, Phillip Cohen, was a vaudeville actor who used the stage name Phil Roy.
Jack Roy (1940-2004)
In 1940, he legally changed his name to the Anglicized form–Jack Roy. This was in reference to his father’s vaudeville days. The name Roy may be French for “king,” but it can also be the Anglicization of the Scottish Gaelic word meaning “red.” Of course, it could be a shortened replacement for his middle name Rodney.
At one of his earlier shows, there were “chatty mob guys” who were talking about respect among each other. This cause Roy to announce his signature schtick “I don’t get no respect.”
He produced comedy albums, such as No Respect, but featured more prominently in films, such as Caddyshack, Rover Dangerfield, Little Nicky, and Natural Born Killers.
He also helped launch the careers of future comedians such as Jim Carrey, Rosanne Barr, Tim Allen, and Jerry Seinfeld.
Although Rodney Dangerfield was the name he used in his professional career, he would pass down the name Roy to his children.
- “A “Born Loser” Who Gets Laughs”. The Baltimore Sun. July 13, 1969. p. TW6
- Dangerfield, Rodney (2005). It’s not easy bein’ me: a lifetime of no respect but plenty of sex and drugs.
- Rodney Dangerfield.
- Rodney Dangerfield. IMDb.
- Roy. Behindthename.