Comedian Charlie Callas dies at 86

Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:02pm EST
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By Mike Barnes

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Charlie Callas, a rubber-faced stand-up comedian and Mel Brooks regular who worked on television, in films and on stage for five decades, died Thursday in a Las Vegas hospice. He was 86.

Callas was a regular on TV variety shows in the 1960s, toured with Frank Sinatra and Tom Jones and was a favorite on the "Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," making more than 50 appearances.

A native of Brooklyn, the reed-thin Callas had bit roles in Brooks' films "Silent Movie" (1976), "High Anxiety" (1977, as a cocker spaniel), "History of the World: Part I" (1981) and "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" (1995).

He landed a part opposite Jerry Lewis in "The Big Mouth" (1967) after meeting the comic actor on a talk show and was the voice of Elliot in Disney's "Pete's Dragon" (1977)

Callas also was known for his role as a restaurant owner and master of disguises on "Switch," a 1975-78 CBS series that starred Robert Wagner and Eddie Albert.

Other credits include such TV shows as "The Munsters;" "The Monkees;" "Love, American Style; Cagey & Lacey;" "The Dom DeLuise Show" and two "Larry the Cable Guy" specials.

Survivors include a son, Mark.