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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Carl Ballantine has died at 92

Carl Ballantine, best known for his supporting role of crew member Lester Gruber on "McHale's Navy", died from age-related causes on Tuesday at his Hollywood Hills home. He is survived by daughters Saratoga and Molly, and a sister, Esther Robinson. Ballantine's wife of 45 years, actress Ceil Cabot, died in 2000.

Ballantine's greatest performance was as a comically inept magician variously billed as "The Amazing Ballantine," "The Great Ballantine" and "Ballantine: The World's Greatest Magician". It was his performance of this role that launched his career on "The Ed Sullivan Show", and influenced a generation of magicians and comedians such as Steve Martin and David Copperfield.

Gruber on McHale's Navy

Carl Ballantine On Donny & Marie

Ballantine also hosted several television shows, including the Garry Moore, Andy Williams, Danny Kaye and Dean Martin shows, as well as "The Hollywood Palace" and "The Tonight Show." He appeared in numerous films such as "The Shakiest Gun in the West" (1968), "The World's Greatest Lover" (1977) and "Mr. Saturday Night" (1992).

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Blogger Stan Matuska said...

Too depressing. As I get older, I am seeing too many people I used to watch on tv dying off...

Where's the post on Lou Dobbs quitting CNN without notice or finishing his contract?

title="comment permalink">November 11, 2009 8:24 PM  

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