Edmund Lincoln Anderson (September 18, 1905 – February 28, 1977) was an American comedian and actor. To a generation of early radio and television comedy he was known as “Rochester.”
Anderson got his start in show business as a teenager on the vaudeville circuit. In the early 1930s, he transitioned into films and radio. In 1937, he began his most famous role of Rochester van Jones, usually known simply as “Rochester”, the valet of Jack Benny, on his NBC radio show The Jack Benny Program. Anderson became the first Black American to have a regular role on a nationwide radio program. When the series moved to CBS television in 1950, Anderson continued in the role until the series’ end in 1965.
After the series ended, Anderson remained active with guest starring roles on television and voice work in animated series. He was also an avid horse-racing fan who owned several race horses and worked as a horse trainer at the Hollywood Park Racetrack.
Anderson was married twice and had four children. He died of heart disease in February 1977 at the age of 71.