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What was Joey Bishop’s net worth?

Joey Bishop was an American entertainer who had a net worth equal to $10 million a the time of his death in 2007. Lawsuits after his death revealed that Joey left behind an estate worth $8 million. That’s the same as around $10 million today after adjusting for inflation.

Joey Bishop was born in The Bronx, New York in February 1918 and passed away in October 2007. He was a member of the Rat Pack along with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Joey Bishop hosted a late night talk show with Regis Philbin after playing a talk show host on a weekly comedy series. He starred on “The Joey Bishop Show” from 1961 to 1965. Bishop was a guest host and co-host on “The Jack Paar Tonight Show” from 1958 to 1962. He made frequent appearances on the show “What’s My Line?” From 1960 to 1966. Bishop also frequently appeared on TV series including “The Hollywood Squares,” “The Dean Martin Show,” “Match Game” and “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” Joey Bishop passed away on October 17, 2007 at 89 years old.

Early Life

Joey Bishop was born on February 3, 1918 in New York City, New York. His parents were Anna and Jacob Gottlieb, both Polish-Jewish immigrants. He was the youngest of their five children. His father worked as a bicycle repairman. The family moved to South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after Bishop was born and Bishop was raised there. After high school, Bishop was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II. He rose to the rank of sergeant in the Special Services and served at Fort Sam Houston in Texas.

Career

Bishop began his career as part of a stand-up comedy act with his elder brother, Maury. He appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on May 28, 1950 to first perform the act. Over the years that followed, he appeared on many more variety shows in the early days of television. Over time, he became well-known for these appearances and eventually was offered guest-hosting gigs on “The Tonight Show,” substituting for Jack Paar. He then guest-hosted “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” at least 175 times throughout the 1960s and continued doing so throughout the 1970s.

Meanwhile, he also starred in the situation comedy show “The Joey Bishop Show” that premiered in September 1960. It ran for 123 episodes over four seasons, first on NBC and later on CBS. He later began hosting his own 90-minute late-night talk show also called “The Joey Bishop Show.” It was launched in 1967 as competition to “The Tonight Show.” It lasted until December 1969. His sidekick on the show was then-newcomer, Regis Philbin.

Throughout the 1960s, Bishop also began appearing in various films. His earliest films were “The Deep Six,” “The Naked and the Dead,” and “Onionhead,” all in 1958. He was among the stars of the original “Ocean’s 11” film about military veterans who decide to rob Las Vegas casinos on New Year’s Eve. He co-starred in the film with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford. The group of men was publicly known as the Rat Pack, though they did not acknowledge that name or refer to themselves by it. While filming the movie, the five stars performed onstage together in Las Vegas at the Sands Hotel. Bishop sang and danced a bit but primarily told jokes and wrote much of the act’s material. He later appeared with the same group in the military adventure film “Sergeants 3” in 1962. With Dean Martin, he appeared in the film “Texas Across the River” in 1966. In the film, he portrayed an American Indian.

Throughout the 1970s, Bishop hosted or appeared as a guest or panelist on a number of variety shows and games shows. These include “The Jacksons Variety Show,” “Celebrity Sweepstakes,” “Match Game,” “The Hollywood Squares,” “Liar’s Club,” and “Break the Bank.” In the 1980s, he continued acting a bit, appearing in “Murder, She Wrote” and “Glory Years.” He also appeared in the film “The Delta Force” in 1986.

Later on in his career, Bishop was the only member of the Rat Pack to work with members of a younger group of actors dubbed the Brat Pack, which was comprised of Robert Downey, Jr., Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, and Judd Nelson. He appeared in the films “Betsy’s Wedding” in 1990 and “Mad Dog Time” in 1996. The latter film was written and directed by his son, Larry. It was also Bishop’s final film role.

In 1998, Bishop was portrayed by actor Bobby Slayton in the HBO film “The Rat Pack.” The film won three Emmy awards and earned several other nominations.

Personal Life and Death

Bishop married Sylvia Ruzga in 1941. The couple were married for 58 years until Ruzga’s death from lung cancer in 1999. Together, they had one son – Larry Bishop – who later became a film director and actor. After his wife’s death, Bishop had a longtime companionship relationship with Nora Garibotti. Towards the end of this life, Bishop’s health began to fail. At the age of 89, he died of multiple organ failure in October 2007 at his home on Lido Isle, a man-made island in the harbor of Newport Beach, California. Bishop was the last surviving member of the Rat Pack. Per his wishes, Bishop’s ashes were cremated and scattered in the Pacific Ocean near his home. He was survived by his son and two grandsons – Kirk and Scott.

Following his death, the Broadcast Pioneers of Pennsylvania inducted Bishop into their Hall of Fame in 2009.

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Kay Adams