LOS ANGELES — Rip Taylor, the moustached comedian with a fondness for confetti-throwing who became a television game show mainstay in the 1970s, has died.
He was 84.
Publicist Harlan Boll said Taylor died Sunday in Beverly Hills after suffering from a seizure, last week.
Born Charles Elmer Taylor in Washington D.C., he was an army veteran who served in the Korean War, Taylor’s showbiz ascent started with spots on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” where he was known as the “crying comedian.”
He’d go on to make over 2,000 guest appearances on shows like “Hollywood Squares” and “The Gong Show” and host the beauty pageant spoof “The $1.98 Beauty Show.” He played neighbour Jack Merlin on “The Brady Bunch Variety Hour,” often considered the worst TV show ever.
He went on tour with Judy Garland and Eleanor Powell in 1966 and later appeared on Broadway when he replaced Mickey Rooney in the musical “Sugar Babies.”
He also played himself in “Wayne’s World 2” and the “Jackass” movies and performed an autobiographical one-man play “It Ain’t All Confetti.” He was given a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in 1992.
Taylor, who was openly gay, is survived by his longtime partner Robert Fortney.