Fred Travalena, a famous impressionist and comedian who could mimic hundreds of celebrities and politicians, died on June 28, 2009, at the age of 66. He had been battling an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, since 2003. He passed away at his home in Encino, California, surrounded by his family and friends.
A Versatile and Talented Entertainer
Fred Travalena was born on October 6, 1942, in the Bronx, New York, to an Italian-Irish family. He discovered his talent for impressions at an early age, when he entertained his classmates and teachers with his imitations of singers, actors, and cartoon characters. He also served in the Army’s Special Services, where he won an award for best singer.
He began his professional career in the 1970s, appearing on various TV shows, such as The ABC Comedy Hour, The Dean Martin Roasts, and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He was known for his remarkable ability to impersonate anyone, from Robert De Niro to Bugs Bunny, from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush. He earned the nickname “The Man of a Thousand Faces” for his skillful transformations and facial expressions.
He also performed in Las Vegas, Reno, and Atlantic City, where he headlined his own shows and specials. He was a singer, a songwriter, and a producer, as well as a comedian. He released several albums, such as We All Need Love Today and The Spirit of America, which showcased his original songs and patriotic themes. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005.
A Loving and Generous Person
Fred Travalena was married to Lois Travalena, whom he met in 1969 and married in 1970. They had two sons, Fred IV and Cory, and a granddaughter, Sophia. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, who loved spending time with his family. He was also a devout Catholic, who attended Mass regularly and prayed for his fans.
He was also a philanthropist, who supported various causes and charities, such as the USO, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the American Cancer Society. He entertained troops overseas, visited sick children in hospitals, and raised funds for cancer research. He was a positive and optimistic person, who always expressed his gratitude and faith.
A Legend and an Inspiration
Fred Travalena’s death was mourned by his fans, colleagues, and friends, who paid tribute to him on social media and in the media. Many of them praised him for his contribution to the entertainment industry and his impact on their lives. He was a legend and an inspiration, who brought joy and laughter to millions of people. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him and watched him. Rest in peace, Fred Travalena.