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Joey Bishop, last of the Rat Pack, dies

October 18, 2007|By Brianna Bailey

Joey Bishop, the last surviving member of the Rat Pack and a longtime area resident, died Wednesday night at his home in Newport Beach. He was 89.

Bishop was a member of the Balboa Bay Club and made publicity appearances for Chabad Jewish Center in Newport Beach.

Local residents remembered Bishop for his generosity to charities and legendary sense of humor.

“For some reason I kept bumping into him at the Via Lido Drug Store,” said Gay Wassall-Kelly of the Balboa Beacon in a statement issued Thursday. “I’d be standing there, he’d come up the stairs, and before you know it, everyone was on the floor laughing so hard because he would be cracking jokes about himself, health issues and age issues which we all could relate to. He remarked that with the Via Lido Drug Store, he could stay alive legally.”

Bishop was a Rat Pack member with Hollywood legends Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Peter Lawford.

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Bishop was known for his catch phrase “son of a gun.” He appeared in several films with other members of the Rat Pack including the classic heist movie “Ocean’s Eleven” in 1960.

Representatives from Bishop’s estate have requested donations to the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach in lieu of flowers. Memorial contributions can be made at wwccoc.org or 21900 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, CA 92646. E-mail wwccsharon@gmail.com or call (714) 321-7516 for more information.

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