Joey Bishop, the comedian who gained tremendous fame as a member of the 1960’s ‘Rat Pack’ gang, has died at the age of 89.
Bishop had been the last surviving member of the ‘Rat Pack’ as Peter Lawford past away in 1984, Sammy Davis Jr. died in 1990, Dean Martin in 1995 and Frank Sinatra died in 1998.
The comedian, who died on Wednesday, had been an integral component in the ‘Rat Pack’ during their music and comedy shows throughout the early 1960s. Sinatra had gone as far as to call Bishop “the Hub of a Big Wheel” in describing the funnyman.
So popular was Bishop that he served as master of ceremonies at President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration gala.
Bishop became a regular fill-in for Johnny Carson after two of his own talk shows failed to generate large audiences.
Despite his constant travels and involvement with the ‘Rat Pack’ Bishop moved through life with a sense of normalcy. He married Sylvia Ruzga in 1941 and the two were together until her death in 1999.
Joey on The Jackson Variety Show in 1977
Joey and Sammy Davis, Jr. tap dance challenge
Orson Welles, Dean Martin & Joey Bishop
Joey Bishop’s Page on Rat Pack.com