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Philip McKeon, former child actor, dies at 55

By
Darryl Coote
Philip McKeon starred as Tommy Hyatt in the television series Alice from 1976-1985. Photo courtesy of CBS Television Network/Wikimedia Commons
Philip McKeon starred as Tommy Hyatt in the television series Alice from 1976-1985. Photo courtesy of CBS Television Network/Wikimedia Commons

Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Philip McKeon, the former child actor best known for his role in the TV sitcom Alice, died Tuesday, his family's spokesman said. He was 55.

"We are all beyond heartbroken and devastated over Phil's passing," family spokesman Jeff Ballard said in a statement to People. "His wonderful sense of humor, kindness and loyalty will be remembered by all who crossed his path in life."

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McKeon died Tuesday morning in Texas after a long illness, Ballard said. Entertainment Tonight also confirmed the actor's death.

Though having performed in small roles in some of the late 1970s classic shows such as Love Boat, CHiPs and Fantasy Island, McKeon is best known for playing Tommy Hyatt, the son of the titular character in Alice, from 1976-1985.

He also worked for 10 years at Los Angeles radio station KFWB News 98 before moving to Wimberly, Texas, to be closer to his family, Ballard said, adding from there he hosted his own radio show.

He is survived by his mother, Barbara, and sister, Nancy McKeon, who is best known for playing Jo Polniaczek in The Facts of Life.

Actor Charlie Sheen said McKeon was "always a perfect gentleman and an ebullient spirit." The two had performed together in an episode of Amazing Stories in 1986 and Sheen shared a picture of the two on set in military fatigues.

"Shared some wonderful moments in the 'trenches' with Phil McKeon many moons ago," Sheen said on Twitter. "... R.I.P., young man. Much, much too soon, you cut out."

McKeon's last film credit was as a producer on the 2005 Adrien Brody and Keira Knightley-helmed film The Jacket, according to IMBD.

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Jerry Herman listens to remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama as the president and First Lady Michelle Obama host the 2010 Kennedy Center Honorees at a reception in the East Room of the White House on December 5, 2010. The Tony-award winning composer died on December 26, 2019, at the age of 88. File Pool Photo by Gary Fabiano/UPI | License Photo

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