Last Rat Packer Joey Bishop Dies

Comic and actor was the last living member of Sinatra's group

By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 18, 2007 5:27 PM CDT

(Newser) – A comedian, actor, talk show host, and last living member of the Rat Pack, Joey Bishop died last night of multiple causes at age 89, CNN reports. Though many critics minimized Bishop's role, Sinatra termed him "the Hub of the Big Wheel." Bishop hosted Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show," acted in Pack originals Ocean's Eleven and Sargeants 3, and even emceed John F. Kennedy's presidential inauguration. 

Bishop had developed his droll style in nightclubs across the country when Sinatra saw him in 1945 at New York's Latin Quarter and signed him, and he became one of the Pack. Of the group's boozing, womanizing rep, Bishop responded in a 1998 interview: "That was only a gag. And do you believe these guys had to chase broads?"

This file photo, originally provided by Warner Bros., shows, left to right: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop star in the 1960 Warner Brothers' movie, "Ocean's...   (Associated Press)
Comedian Joey Bishop leaves the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills, Calif.,on May 20, 1998, after a funeral mass for Frank Sinatra. Bishop, the stone-faced comedian who found success in...   (Associated Press)
Comedian Joey Bishop in a Oct. 1963 file photo. Bishop, the stone-faced comedian who found success in night clubs, television and movies but became most famous as a member of Frank Sinatra's boisterous...   (Associated Press)
Regis Philbin, left, rehearses routines with Joey Bishop, right, on the set of "The Joey Bishop Show" at the ABC TV studio in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on Sept. 15, 1967. Bishop, the stone-faced...   (Associated Press)
Members of the "Rat Pack," from left, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Joey Bishop, perform at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas Jan. 20, 1960. Bishop, the stone-faced comedian who found success...   (Associated Press)
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Joey Bishop Show Food Fight with Sammy Davis Junior and Regis Philbin.   (sdjr1fan (YouTube))

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