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Oct-18-2007 10:35printcomments

Joey Bishop of the Rat Pack Dies

Joey Bishop of Frank Sinatra's "Rat Pack" dies at the age of 89.

Joey Bishop
Joey Bishop has died at the age of 89.

(LOS ANGELES) - Joey Bishop, member of the infamous "Rat Pack" led by Frank Sinatra has passed away in Southern California. Joey Bishop grew up in South Philadelphia, and began his comedy career doing vaudeville.

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

Still known as Joey Gottlieb at the time, he was briefly in a comedy group that called itself "The Bishop Trio", named for the group's driver. When the act broke up, Bishop kept the name for himself.

He had a sitcom, The Joey Bishop Show, which ran from 1961-65, with Bishop playing a showbiz schmooze-type who became host of a TV talk show in the second season.

When he hosted a talk show in real life, also called The Joey Bishop Show in the late 60's, his sidekick and comic foil was the young Regis Philbin.

As a running gag, Bishop routinely needled Philbin on the air, but the gags ended when Regis stalked off the set during a live broadcast, and stayed away for several days.

Bishop was generally the least-remembered member of the Rat Pack, five cool stars and pals of the 1950s and 60s (the other four were Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Peter Lawford).

He appeared in the Rat Pack movies Oceans Eleven and Sergeants Three. He said or did something that annoyed Frank Sinatra, it was never clear exactly what, and was booted from the pack while their next film, Robin and the Seven Hoods, was in pre-production.

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Neal Feldman October 19, 2007 4:02 pm (Pacific time)

ooops. LAST of the pack, not past. Ah well....

Neal Feldman October 19, 2007 12:10 pm (Pacific time)

Hmmm... so is he the past of th pack then? (Other than female rat pack members Lauren Bacall and Shirley MacLaine who seem to be the only survivors of either sex).

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