Impressionist Fred Travalena Dies at 66
Fred Travalena, a famed impressionist and entertainer nicknamed "The Man of a Thousand Faces," has died. He was 66.
Travalena died Sunday in Los Angeles from a recurrence of an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, his publicist, Roger Neal, told the Associated Press. Travalena was first diagnosed in 2002 with the disease, which went into remission the following year before re-surfacing last July. Travalena was also diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003, but Neal said the disease had been in remission since then.
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Also dubbed "Mr. Everybody," Travalena boasted a wide repertoire of celebrity and political impersonations, which included impressions of Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Clint Eastwood, Henry Kissinger, Donald Rumsfeld and Tom Cruise.
Born in the Bronx, N.Y., and raised on Long Island, Travalena found national success in the 1970s when he became a fixture on the popular late-night shows of the decade: The ABC Comedy Hour and Dean Martin Roasts. Travalena continued to be a late-night staple throughout the 1980s and '90s, dropping by The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and The Late Show with David Letterman.
In addition to hosting the game show Anything For Money in the 1980s, Travalena guest-starred on such series as Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Murphy Brown, Walker, Texas Ranger and Good Sports, the short-lived CBS series starring Ryan O'Neal and the late Farrah Fawcett.
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Travalena also loaned his voice to numerous cartoons and children's programs.
Travalena is survived by his wife of 39 years, Lois; two sons, Fred IV and Cory; a daughter-in-law; and a granddaughter.