Eddie Bracken (born February 7, 1915; died November 14, 2002) was an American comic actor. Born in Astoria, New York, he performed in vaudeville at the age of nine, and gained fame at an early age on Broadway in the musical Too Many Girls, which he reprised in the film version in 1940. He had performed in a short film series called The Kiddie Troupers (one of many Our Gang-like series) prior to that, but this film was his big break.
In 1936, Bracken pursued success on Broadway with his starring run in an original play by Joseph Viertel, entitled, So Proudly We Hail. The military drama co-starred Richard Cromwell and opened to much fanfare, but only enjoyed a brief run, and it closed after 14 performances at the 46th Street Theater.
In the 1940s, Director Preston Sturges cast Bracken in two of his best-loved films, The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, opposite Betty Hutton, and Hail the Conquering Hero. Based on the popularity of these films, Eddie Bracken was a household name during World War II. Bracken also made numerous appearances on Radio during this era.
In 1953, Bracken virtually left Hollywood. He returned in the 1980s to perform character roles in such films as National Lampoon's Vacation. Vacation director John Hughes cast Bracken in smaller roles in two of his future efforts, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and Baby's Day Out.
For his contribution to radio, Eddie Bracken has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1651 Vine Street and a second star at 6751 Hollywood Blvd. for his contribution to the television industry.