Ed Ames, a member of the Ames Brothers singing quartet who starred in the 1960s TV series “Daniel Boone,” died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles. he was 95 years old.
Ed Ames and his brothers Vic, Joe and Gene had a hit in 1950 with their version of “Rag Mop.” As a solo artist, he had hits like “Who Will Answer?,” “My Cup Runness Over,” and “Try To.” Remember. In the 1950s, they ran a syndicated television show, The Ames Brothers Show, which charted 49 songs before disbanding in 1963.
He then embarked on an acting career, performing Off-Broadway in The Crucible and Fantastics, as well as starring in Carnival! on Broadway. He co-starred with Kirk Douglas, Gene Wilder and William Daniels in the Broadway production One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Ames was a Russian Jew, but was cast as a Native American many times, playing Mingo, a Cherokee Indian with an English father, in several seasons of the Fess Parker Western Daniel Boone.
He became known for his tomahawk-throwing skills, which he demonstrated on “The Tonight Show” in 1965 on a wooden panel with cowboy outlines for Johnny Carson. As Ames hit the character in the groin, Carson ad-libbed: “I didn’t know you were Jewish!” and “Welcome to Frontier Bliss.” The cheeky reaction kept the studio audience laughing for four minutes, reportedly the longest studio audience laugh in television history.
He has also made guest appearances on shows such as “The Rifleman,” “MacLeod,” “Murder She Wrote,” “The Gary Shandling Show,” and “Jake and the Fat Man.”
Born July 9, 1927 in Malden, Massachusetts, the youngest of nine children, Ames graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Film Arts in 1975.
He is survived by his wife, Jeanne. He is the son of Ronald and Sonya and has seven grandchildren. He has five great-grandchildren. and his stepson Stephen Saviano. Another daughter, Marcella, died before him.
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