Arnold Stang Dead at 91

Arnold-Stang-Dead-at-91Arnold Stang, an American comic actor who appeared alongside Frank Sinatra and was known for his nerdy looks and distinctive nasal voice, has died at the age of 91.

JoAnne Stang, Arnold’s wife for 60 years said that the actor died of pneumonia Sunday at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts.

She attributed Arnold’s career longevity to his willingness to accept challenge.

“He was really unique, because he could perform in any role, comedy or drama, he just loved it all,” JoAnne said Tuesday. “He always thought of himself just as an actor, not any particular kind of actor, but just an actor who would play whatever he was asked to play.”

Stang was popular on radio in the 1940s as a sidekick to cantankerous comedian Henry Morgan. That led to a recurring role in the TV show The School House on the DuMont Television Network in 1949. Then, during television’s Golden Age, he became a supporting player on Milton Berle’s Texaco Star Theater, often berating or heckling the big-egoed star for big laughs. Stang also had guest roles on several variety shows of the day including The Colgate Comedy Hour.

In films, he played Sparrow in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) with Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak. In It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) he played Ray, along with his partner Irwin (played by Marvin Kaplan). He appeared in Hello Down There (1969). He also partnered with Arnold Schwarzenegger (billed as “Arnold Strong”) in the latter’s first film, the camp classic Hercules in New York (1970). (source)