Skip to main content /SHOWBIZ /SHOWBIZ

Milton Berle diagnosed with cancerous tumor


LOS ANGELES, California -- Entertainer and television pioneer Milton Berle is suffering from a cancerous tumor in his colon but will not undergo surgery, his wife told CNN.

The 92-year-old Berle, who broke into show business as a child actor in vaudeville and film and went on to become one of TV's first stars, "is planning on living life to the fullest," said Lorna Berle.

"The tumor is cancerous," she said. "The doctors have elected not to operate on it. It is growing so slowly it will take 10 to 12 years to affect him in any significant or life-threatening way."

"Last night he was at Morton's," she said. "Tonight, Spago. And on Saturday he will be attending a private party. He is also making plans for his 93rd birthday in July."

Born Milton Berlinger, Berle hosted "Texaco Star Theater" from 1948 to 1952, and was credited with spurring the sale of millions of televisions to a nation that was still deciding on whether to accept the new medium.

"There was a time ... when people didn't go out of their house on Tuesday night at eight o'clock because Milton Berle was on," entertainer Ed McMahon told CNN at Berle's 90th birthday bash in 1998.

He stole the show at his 90th birthday bash. "I feel like a 20-year-old, but there's never one around," he joked.

Reuters contributed to this report.


4:30pm ET, 4/16

Back to the top