Box O Bits: Joey Bishop, Dies at age 89

In Celebrities, Films/Film stars on October 19, 2007 by Editor Z

Comedian, actor, and talk show host Joey Bishop, who was the quietest and last surviving member of the crooner comedy and entertainment gang the “Rat pack”, died at his Newport Beach home in California Wednesday night at the age of 89. Bishop is said to have died of multiple causes.

Bishop was often the most silent one in the Rat pack. He didn’t posses the crooner image of Dean Martin, the powerful connections of Peter Lawford, the excitement of Sammy Davis Jr, or the talented and often demanding force to be reckoned with status of Rat Pack leader Frank Sinatra.

Nevertheless Bishop rose from a life that began in the Bronx Borough of new York, to become a member one of the most popular groups in entertainment history. Despite being seemingly out shined by the four other members of the Rat pack, Bishop gained his share of accolades. Comedian Jack Benny once called him “one of the funniest men I’ve ever seen,” and Time Magazine once deemed him the Rat pack’s “top banana”. The pack never took Bishop for granted either, Sinatra once referring to Bishop as “the hub of the big wheel”.

In addition to the groups live act, Bishop starred in a total of 14 feature films, three with his fellow Rat packers including the original Ocean’s 11-(1960), a sitcom called the Joey Bishop Show which aired from 1961-1965, and a late night ABC entertainment, variety talk show from 1967 until 1969. Following the cancellation of his talk show Bishop continued to act guest staring on such shows as Chico and the Man and Murder she Wrote. His final film was a part in the small 1996 film Mad Dog Time.

Bishop was 89 years old.

For more details check out obituaries in: the LA Times, the International Herald Tribune, and


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