Birthplace: Fresno, CA
Location of death: Beverly Hills, CA
Cause of death: Heart Failure
Remains: Cremated, Chapel of the Pines Crematory, Los Angeles, CA
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Musician, Actor
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Progenitor of Alvin and the Chipmunks
1950s actor and songwriter who already had a hit song in 1958 with "Witch Doctor" when he stumbled upon the gimmick of playing songs at a slow speed and singing over it, and then speeding the vocals back up to match the original tempo. The resulting treble chirp sounded to Bagdasarian like chipmunks singing; from this experiment was born the band Alvin and the Chipmunks, an oddball trio which covered pop songs with helium-inflated barbershop harmonies. His first novelty single, "The Christmas Song", was an instant success, and the group was soon transformed into a popular series of children's cartoons and films. After Bagdasarian's death, his son took over the franchise.
In Alfred Hitchcock's classic Rear Window, with wheelchair-bound Jimmy Stewart peering out his apartment window and into the lives of his neighbors, Bagdasarian played the frustrated songwriter.
Daughter: Carol Bagdasarian
Son: Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.
Alvin and the Chipmunks
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
The Deep Six (15-Jan-1958)
The Devil's Hairpin (4-Oct-1957)
Three Violent People (Dec-1956)
The Proud and Profane (13-Jun-1956) · Louie
Rear Window (1-Aug-1954) · Songwriter
Alaska Seas (27-Jan-1954)
Destination Gobi (11-May-1953)
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