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Jose Jimenez creator Bill Dana dies at 92

Bill Dana. — AFP pic
Bill Dana. — AFP pic

LOS ANGELES, June 20 — American comedian, actor and screenwriter Bill Dana has died at the age of 92.

Dana — best-known for his role character at the centre of the My Name ... Jose Jimenez routine that made him one of America’s most beloved comic performers of the 1960s — died Thursday at his home in Nashville, Emerson College announced.

He is survived by his his wife of 36 years Evelyn (Evy) Shular Dana.

Born William Szathmary in 1924, Bill was the youngest of six children to parents Dena and Joseph (of Hungarian-Jewish descent) and grew in Quincy, Massachusetts.

After graduating from Emerson College on the GI Bill, he entered show business, beginning his career as an NBC page at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, but quickly rose through the ranks when he began writing for comedian Don Adams  — penning the famous “Would You Believe?” jokes.

Hired as a writer on the original Tonight Show, Bill eventually became head writer on The Steve Allen Show, and is also known as the creator of the popular José Jiménez character in 1959 which resulted in his own NBC series, The Bill Dana Show (1963-1965). — AFP-Relaxnews

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