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David Seville

Bagdasarian was born in Fresno, California, the youngest child of Dick and Virginia (Saroyan) Bagdasarian, Armenian immigrants from the Ottoman Empire. He enlisted in the United States Army one month after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and served until the end of World War II.

Bagdasarian performed in the Broadway cast of The Time of Your Life, written by his famous cousin, William Saroyan. Bagdasarian's first musical success was the song he wrote with Saroyan, "Come on-a My House", recorded by Rosemary Clooney in 1951. The lyrics are based on dialogue from Saroyan's novel The Human Comedy. They wrote the song on the post-Broadway tour bus of The Time of Your Life in 1939, and recorded it under their own names as a duet (Saroyan speaking the narrative, Bagdasarian delivering the lyrics in dialect) for Coral Records. ("Come on-a My House" inspired an answer record, "Where's-a Your House?" by Robert Q. Lewis.)

Bagdasarian played minor roles in films, the best known of which is his appearance in Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 murder mystery Rear Window. Bagdasarian portrays a piano-playing songwriter who composes, plays, and sings the song "Lisa". His character lives in an apartment opposite the protagonist's; in keeping with the screenplay's theme of social voyeurism, his dialogue is never clearly heard, and he appears only in long shots, sometimes seen through a window. He stands next to Hitchcock in his signature cameo appearance. Bagdasarian had small parts in The Greatest Show on Earth, Viva Zapata!, Destination Gobi, Stalag 17, Alaska Seas, The Proud and Profane, Three Violent People, Hot Blood, The Deep Six, and The Devil's Hairpin.

Rostom Sipan Bagdasarian (January 27, 1919 – January 16, 1972) was an American pianist, singer, songwriter, actor and record producer. In his professional life, he was better known by the stage name David Seville, which he used on his recordings featuring Alvin and the Chipmunks.
The Chipmunks' recordings, with the performers often labeled as "David Seville and the Chimunks," typically listed "Bagdasarian" in the authorship credit
After the hit records, Bagdasarian provided the voice for the David Seville and Chipmunk characters in the Chipmunks' short-lived 1961 animated television series The Alvin Show.

 

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