DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Buddy Hackett (aged 78)
American actor and comedian
Buddy Hackett (born Leonard Hacker; August 31, 1924 – June 30, 2003) was an American comedian and actor. His best remembered roles include Marcellus Washburn in The Music Man (1962); Benjy Benjamin in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963); Tennessee Steinmetz in The Love Bug (1968); and Scuttle in The Little Mermaid (1989).
DEATH: In the early 1990s Hackett was diagnosed with severe heart disease, but steadfastly refused to consider bypass surgery; his heart disease was the primary cause of his death. Hackett died on June 30, 2003, at his beach house in Malibu, California, at the age of 78. His son, comedian Sandy Hackett, said his father had been suffering from diabetes for several years and suffered a stroke nearly a week before his death which may have contributed to his demise. Two days later, on July 2, 2003, he was cremated and his ashes were given to family and friends.