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Comedian Marty Allen Dies at 95

Legendary Performer Was Part of Comedy Duo Allen & Rossi

Marty Allen, the half of hit comedy duo Allen & Rossi who was a staple of TV variety shows, game shows and talk shows for decades, passed away Monday night in Las Vegas. He was 95. Allen died in Las Vegas of complications from pneumonia with his wife and performing partner of the last three decades, Karon Kate Blackwell, by his side, Allen’s spokeswoman, Candi Cazau, told the Associated press.

Born Morton David Alpern on March 23, 1922 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Allen first found fame as half of the duo Allen & Rossi with partner Steve Rossi, who died in 2014. Allen & Rossi appeared 44 times on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” including the episodes where the Beatles performed.

The comedy duo appeared regularly on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson” and “The Merv Griffin Show.” They also toured comedy clubs nationwide, headlined shows at major Las Vegas casinos and released a series of hit albums until their amicable breakup in 1968. Allen then segued solo on daytime television and in made-for TV movies, and was known for his appearances on “The Hollywood Squares,” among other game shows. Some of his guest appearances include TV shows “Love, American Style,” “The Big Valley,” “Night Gallery” and “Benson.”

In 1984 he married Blackwell, who became his show business partner for the last 30 years. She was a singer-songwriter and took over the Steve Rossi role of straight to Allen’s wacky observations. They performed together up until his mid-90s.

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of weekly column “Mr. Television” for Campaign US ( Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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