Joey Bishop Dies

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Comedian Joey Bishop, the last remaining member of Frank Sinatra's infamous Rat Pack, has died. He was 89. Bishop passed away on Wednesday (17Oct07) night at his home in Newport Beach, California. According to his publicist and longtime friend Warren Cowan, Bishop died of multiple causes. The Rat Pack - Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Bishop - became a showbusiness sensation in the early 1960s, regularly performing shows at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. Bishop starred in Rat Pack movies Ocean's 11 (1960) and Sergeants Three (1962). The Rat Pack became increasingly unfashionable in the mid-1960s, although, by the late 1990s, the troupe was back in vogue - a revival headlined by Brad Pitt and George Clooney's Ocean's 11 remake. Bishop was the last Rat Pack star alive - Lawford died in 1984; Davis Jr. in 1990; Martin in 1995; and Sinatra in 1998. Born Joseph Abraham Gottlieb in The Bronx, New York in 1918, he went on to adopt the name Joey Bishop to use onstage. Following an apprenticeship as a funnyman in vaudeville and nightclubs, Bishop spent three-and-a-half years in the U.S. Army during World War II. Aside from his involvement with the Rat Pack, Bishop also appeared in two comedy television series, both called The Joey Bishop Show. He went on to host his own talk show in 1967. Bishop married Sylvia Ruzga in 1941; the couple remained together until her death in 1999. He is survived by his actor son Larry Bishop.


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