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Drama professor dies of heart ailment

WASHINGTON -- The Rev. Gilbert Hartke, founder of Catholic University's drama department and teacher to entertainers Ed McMahon, Jon Voight and Henry Gibson, died Friday after a prolonged heart ailment.

Hartke, a Chicago native, was 79.

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Hartke's career at Catholic University spanned 50 years, where he was instrumental in founding and developing the university's drama department. A university spokeswoman said he died at Providence Hospital.

Every president since Harry Truman has sent students trained by Hartke overseas to entertain military troops at Christmas.

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