Joey Bishop (February 3, 1918 â€" October 17, 2007) born Joseph Abraham Gottlieb, was an American entertainer who appeared on television as early as 1948 and eventually starred in his own weekly comedy series playing a talk show host, then later hosted a late night talk show. He later became a member of the "Rat Pack" with Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Dean Martin.


Joey Bishop

Bishop, youngest of five children, was born in The Bronx, a borough of New York City, the son of Anna (Siegel) and Jacob Gottlieb, Jewish Polish immigrants. His father was a bicycle repairman. Bishop was raised in South Philadelphia. In 1941, Bishop married Sylvia Ruzga, who died in 1999 from lung cancer. They had one son, Larry Bishop, a film director and actor. Drafted into the US Army in World War II, he rose to sergeant in the Special Services serving at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.


Joey Bishop

Bishop began his career as part of a standup comedy act with his elder brother, Maury. He guest-hosted The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson at least 175 times from 1971â€"76, more than anyone else until that time (Jay Leno and Joan Rivers later surpassed his record). He also frequently appeared on Steve Allen's and Jack Paar's previous versions of The Tonight Show.

He starred in a situation comedy titled The Joey Bishop Show, which premiered on 20 September 1961 and ran for four seasons, first on NBC and later CBS. Bishop played a talk show host named Joey Barnes. His wife was portrayed by Abby Dalton, who joined the cast in 1962.

He later hosted a 90-minute late-night talk show, also titled The Joey Bishop Show, that was launched by ABC in 1967 as competition to Carson's Tonight Show and ran for two years. His sidekick was then-newcomer Regis Philbin.

Bishop was among the stars of the original Ocean's 11 film about military veterans who reunite in a plot to rob five Las Vegas casinos on New Year's Eve. He co-starred with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Peter Lawford of the so-called Rat Pack, although the five of them did not publicly acknowledge that name. During filming, the five entertainers performed together on stage in Vegas at the Sands Hotel. Bishop did only a little singing and dancing, but he told jokes and wrote most of the act's material. He later appeared with Sinatra, Martin, Davis and Lawford in the military adventure Sergeants 3, a loose remake of Gunga Din, and with Martin in the western comedy Texas Across the River, in which he portrayed an Indian.

Bishop was the only member of the Rat Pack to work with members of a younger group of actors dubbed the Brat Pack, appearing (as a ghost) in the 1990 film Betsy's Wedding with Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy.

His final appearance in a film was a non-speaking role in Mad Dog Time, written and directed by his son Larry. His character was named Gottlieb, which was Bishop's real surname.

Bishop was portrayed by Bobby Slayton in the 1998 HBO film The Rat Pack.


Joey Bishop

Bishop died on October 17, 2007, at his home in Newport Beach, California, from heart failure. He was the longest-lived and the last surviving member of the Rat Pack.

The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia posthumously inducted Bishop into their Hall of Fame in 2009.


Joey Bishop
  • The Deep Six (1958)
  • The Naked and the Dead (1958)
  • Onionhead (1958)
  • Ocean's 11 (1960)
  • Pepe (1960) (Cameo)
  • Sergeants 3 (1962)
  • Johnny Cool (1963)
  • Texas Across the River (1966)
  • A Guide for the Married Man (1967)
  • Who's Minding the Mint? (1967)
  • Valley of the Dolls (1967)
  • The Delta Force (1986)
  • Betsy's Wedding (1990)
  • Mad Dog Time (1996)

Television work

  • What's My Line? (1950â€"1967) (frequent panelist)
  • The Polly Bergen Show (May 3, 1958) (guest star)
  • Richard Diamond, Private Detective as Joey Kirk in "No Laughing Matter" (1959)
  • The Frank Sinatra Timex Show: Welcome Home Elvis
  • The Joey Bishop Show (1961â€"1965) situation comedy co-starring Abby Dalton, originally on NBC, then CBS
  • Password (1961â€"1967) (frequent guest)
  • Get Smart (1967) (cameo guest)
  • The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962â€"1992) (frequent guest & substitute host)
  • The Hollywood Squares (1966â€"1981) (frequent panelist)
  • The Joey Bishop Show (1967â€"1969) late-night 90-minute talk show on ABC
  • Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1968 and 1971)
  • The Jacksons Variety Show, special guest star
  • Celebrity Sweepstakes (1974â€"1977) (frequent panelist)
  • Match Game (1976) (panelist)
  • Liar's Club (1976â€"1978) (frequent panelist)
  • Break the Bank (1976â€"1977) (frequent panelist)
  • Glory Years (1987)


External links

Joey Bishop
  • Joey Bishop at the Internet Movie Database
  • Joey Bishop at Find a Grave
  • Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia website

Joey Bishop

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