Charles Nelson Reilly, who acted and directed on Broadway but came to be best known for his campy television appearances on talk shows and "Match Game," died on Friday (5/25) in Los Angeles. He was 76 and lived in Beverly Hills, Calif.
The cause was complications of pneumonia, said his partner, Patrick Hughes, who is his only immediate survivor. Mr. Reilly had been ill for more than a year, he said.
Although he had a career before his days as a game-show staple in the 1970s and 1980s, Charles - complete with his ascots, oversize spectacles and over-the-top penchant for double-entendres, was a key to my growing up years. I watched him work - listened to how he delivered lines and learned all about timing.
Both Charles Nelson Reilly and Paul Lynde taught me a lot about quality wit and comedic humor - and more importantly, how to laugh, even when faced with frustration or ridicule.
Charles Nelson Reilly - I salute you.
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