18 October 2007

RIP: Joey Bishop

Left to right: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr,
Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop

Joey Bishop
3 Feb 1918 - 17 Oct 2007

ZUI this article from CNN:
Joey Bishop, the stone-faced comedian who found success in nightclubs, television and movies but became most famous as a member of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack, has died at 89.

He was the group's last surviving member. Peter Lawford died in 1984, Sammy Davis Jr. in 1990, Dean Martin in 1995, and Sinatra in 1998.

Bishop died Wednesday night of multiple causes at his home in Newport Beach [CA], publicist and longtime friend Warren Cowan said Thursday.

And this article from the Los Angeles Times:
An adept ad-libber with a dry, underplayed sense of humor, Bishop achieved his greatest fame in the 1960s. He was master of ceremonies for President Kennedy's inaugural gala and joined Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford for the Rat Pack's historic "summit" meetings on stage at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas.

Time magazine referred to Bishop as that swinging, fun-loving group's "top banana."

Jack Benny called him "one of the funniest men I've ever seen."

And Danny Thomas was so impressed with Bishop, he had a weekly situation comedy built around him, which Thomas' production company sold to NBC.

ZUI IMDb for more about Bishop's career.

Dean Martin and Joey Bishop in Texas Across the River

I think Texas Across the River is the only thing I've seen him in - I'm sure I never watched The Joey Bishop Show - but though I'd forgotten he was in it I of course recognised his name.

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