Comedian Marty Allen Dead at 95

Marty Allen

Comedian Marty Allen, who rose to fame as part of the comedy duo Allen & Rossi in the 1950s and ’60s, died Monday in Las Vegas. He was 95.

Allen’s spokeswoman confirmed to the Associated Press that he died of complications from pneumonia, with his wife, singer-songwriter Karon Kate Blackwell, by his side.

After beginning his career as an opening act for such stars as Nat King Cole and jazz singer Sarah Vaughan, Allen teamed up with fellow comic Steve Rossi to become the duo Allen & Rossi. They performed together from 1957 to 1968 and made more than 700 TV appearances, including 44 stints on The Ed Sullivan Show. (During this time, Allen became known for his “Hello dere!” catchphrase.)

Though Allen and Rossi split amicably in 1968, they reteamed several times over the years, including another four-year partnership from 1990 to 1994. Rossi died of cancer in 2014.

Allen then shifted gears to dramatic acting, making his debut in the 1965 Western series The Big Valley. He went on to become known as “The Darling of Daytime TV” in the 1970s and ’80s, with a resumé that included made-for-TV movies and countless game show appearances on Hollywood Squares and Password.

Allen also worked in film and theater throughout his career, before teaming up with wife Blackwell to perform their musical comedy act across the United States. Most recently, they performed together at New York City’s Metropolitan Room in 2016.

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