Thursday, October 18, 2007

Joey Bishop, R. I. P.

That's three, and the Rat Pack is all gone.

The Associated Press: Joey Bishop Dead at 89: "LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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, publicist and longtime friend Warren Cowan said Thursday.

The Rat Pack became a show business sensation in the early 1960s, appearing at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas in shows that combined music and comedy in a seemingly chaotic manner.

Reviewers often claimed that Bishop played a minor role, but Sinatra knew otherwise. He termed the comedian 'the Hub of the Big Wheel,' with Bishop coming up with some of the best one-liners and beginning many jokes with his favorite phrase, 'Son of a gun!'"


Todd Mason said...

Oddly enough, I don't think I'd heard fictioneer and pop-culture historian/magazine collector Frank Robinson's voice before just now...his accent and timbre are remarkably similar to Joey Bishop's to me. Frank's is very slightly lower-pitched and he has a slight lisp, but otherwise...Frank might be a good voice actor for a radio bio.

Bill Crider said...

He does sound like Bishop, and that's a great interview. I'll move it up to an entry of its own.

Brent McKee said...

Of the major cast members of the original Ocean's Eleven only Henry Silva and Angie Dickenson remain. (I always liked that movie - the remake may be a better picture but the original is more fun).