|Date of Birth:||December 6, 1928|
|Date of Death:||July 31, 1980|
|Age at Death:||51|
[ Official Site]
Bobby Van (born as Robert Jack Stein on December 6, 1928 in New York City, New York, died July 31, 1980 in Los Angeles, California) was an American theater, film and television actor.
Van's parents were Vaudevillian actors, spending time backstage until he joined his parent on-stage at age four. Despite being born a bit later than other notable song-and-dance actors such as Gene Kelly, Van enjoyed many roles in films and musicals in the 1950s.
After the golden age of musicals passed, Van worked as a choreographer for a time for films starring Jerry Lewis and others. Van's comedic talents made him a valuable asset in many roles.
Van made the transition to television with great success as a guest on TV game shows, dramas and comedies such as Match Game, Wonder Woman, The Love Boat and CHiPs. He also hosted the game shows Showoffs (1975), The Fun Factory (1976) and Make Me Laugh (1979).
Van portrayed the android Hector in the Original Series episode, "Greetings from Earth." In the role, he is paired with another classic song-and-dance actor, Ray Bolger. The two conclude their episode with a song-and-dance number for the child characters of the episode, reflecting their mutual career histories.
Van was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 1979, but hosted a Mrs. America pageant despite the illness.
Van died in 1980, at age 51, and is buried at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park in Burbank, California. He was survived by his second wife, actress Elaine Joyce with whom he had one daughter. He had a son from his first marriage.