Actor, director Charles Nelson Reilly dies

May 28, 2007 at 5:48 PM
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LOS ANGELES, May 28 (UPI) -- Charles Nelson Reilly, a Tony-winning actor known for his ribald humor, has died from complications of pneumonia in Los Angeles at the age of 76.

Reilly, who died Friday, acted and directed on Broadway, but more widely recognized for his appearances on talk shows and game shows such as "The Match Game," The New York Times reported Monday.

In 1962, he won a Tony Award for his turn as Bud Frump in the original Broadway staging of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."

On Broadway, he was known for his direction of "The Belle of Amherst," a one-woman play starring Julie Harris based on the life of Emily Dickinson. Reilly later directed Harris again, opposite Charles Durning in a revival of "The Gin Game."

Reilly's final work was the autobiographical "Save It for the Stage: The Life of Reilly," in which he recounted growing up in the Bronx.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Reilly, with his flamboyant dress and tendency for double-entendres, was a television regular. He appeared more than 95 times on the "Tonight" show with Johnny Carson and was a panelist on game shows like "Match Game" and "Hollywood Squares."

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