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Frederick Albert Travalena III[1] (October 6, 1942 – June 28, 2009) was a U.S. entertainer, specializing in comedy and impressions.

Fred Travalena
Fred Travelena 1999.jpg
Travalena in 1999
Birth nameFrederick Albert Travalena III
Born(1942-10-06)October 6, 1942
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
DiedJune 28, 2009(2009-06-28) (aged 66)
Encino, California, U.S.
MediumStand-up, Television
NationalityAmerican
Years active1962–2009
GenresObservational comedy
Subject(s)impersonations, pop culture
SpouseLois Travalena (1970–2009) (his death)
ChildrenCory James and Frederick Albert IV

Early lifeEdit

Bronx, New York-born and Long Island-raised, Travalena moved to Los Angeles and developed a multifaceted career with his characterizations of visible public figures.

CareerEdit

His television credits began in the 1970s, as a regular performer on The ABC Comedy Hour, where he once did a split screen impression of John Lennon on one side and Paul McCartney on the other, and the Dean Martin Roasts. He had several voice credits on cartoons, as well as appearances on nationally broadcast children's programs.

Travelena made many guest appearances on game shows and dramatic programs in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. In the mid-1980s he hosted the game show Anything for Money (1984–85), a game where contestants attempted to guess how much money it would take an ordinary, unsuspecting person to participate in a silly stunt.

Among his guest appearances on game shows, he was on Super Password, hosted by Bert Convy, with The Huggabug Club star Audrey Landers, as well as Body Language, hosted by Tom Kennedy, and was on the short-lived 1990 edition of Match Game several times.

In 1982, Travalena played Bogey the Orangutan (in his Humphrey Bogart voice) from Shirt Tales.

In 1989, Travelena played Elvis Presley and Mr. Gibbel of Chippie Chipmunks group in a comedy sketch as part of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!. He guest starred in the series premiere of the short-lived 1991 sitcom Good Sports with Ryan O'Neal and Farrah Fawcett. He also impersonated Michael Jackson during the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards when he accepted the Best Alternative Music Video award on behalf of Nirvana.

He appeared at casino theaters in Las Vegas, Reno, and Atlantic City, as well as performing arts theaters, cruise ships, and private "in-concert" performances. He took part in a U.S.O. tour to entertain troops overseas, and was honored in 2004 by Club Italia with a Merit Achievement Award for his contributions to society. Also in 2004, he appeared on Bananas Comedy. He played radio DJ "Madman Mancuso" in The Buddy Holly Story.

On February 3, 2005, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7018 Hollywood Blvd.[2]

DeathEdit

Travalena was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2002 and prostate cancer in 2003. Following five years' remission, the lymphoma returned in 2008. Travalena died on June 28, 2009, at his home in Encino, California.[3]

During his life, he and his wife credited his battle with cancer as a challenge of their Christian faith and a way to help others overcome the same conditions.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Fred Travalena, Master of Impressions in Comedy, Is Dead at 66". The New York Times. June 30, 2009.
  2. ^ "Fred Travalena - Hollywood Walk of Fame".
  3. ^ "Comedian Fred Travalena dies of cancer. CNN report of death". June 29, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009.
  4. ^ Rushnell, Squire. When God Winks at You, pg. 45

External linksEdit