Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives was an American singer and actor of stage, screen, radio, and television.
Burl Ives began as an itinerant singer and banjoist, and launched his own radio show, The Wayfaring Stranger, which popularized traditional folk songs. In 1942, he appeared in Irving Berlin's This Is the Army, and then became a major star of CBS radio. In the 1960s, he successfully crossed over into country music, recording hits such as "A Little Bitty Tear" and "Funny Way of Laughin'". A popular film actor through the late 1940s and '50s, Ives's best-known film roles included parts in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), and Rufus Hannassey in The Big Country (1958), for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Burl Ives is often remembered for his voice-over work as Sam the Snowman, the narrator of the classic 1964 Christmas television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which continues to air annually around Christmas.
He also recorded a few albums for Disneyland Records: Walt Disney Presents Burl Ives' Animal Folk, Walt Disney Presents Burl Ives' Folk Lullabies, Walt Disney Presents Burl Ives: Chim Chim Cheree and Other Children's Choices, A Day at the Zoo with Burl Ives, and Little Red Caboose And Other Children's Hits.