Travelena at the Governor's Ball following the 41st Annual Emmy Awards, 1989
|Birth name||Frederick Albert Travalena III|
October 6, 1942|
The Bronx, New York
|Died||June 28, 2009
|Subject(s)||impersonations, pop culture|
|Spouse||Lois Travalena (1970-2009) (his death)
Sons Cory James and Frederick Albert IV
His television credits began in the 1970s, as a regular performer on The ABC Comedy Hour, where he once did a split screen impression of John Lennon on one side and Paul McCartney on the other, and the Dean Martin Roasts. He had several voice credits on cartoons, as well as appearances on nationally-broadcast children's programs. Mr. Travelena made many guest appearances on game shows and dramatic programs in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. In the mid-1980s he hosted the game show Anything For Money, a game where contestants attempted to guess how much money it would take an ordinary, unsuspecting person to participate in a silly stunt. In 1986, he appeared with The Huggabug Club star Audrey Landers on Super Password with Bert Convy. In 1989, he appeared as Elvis Presley and Mr. Gibbel of Chippie Chipmunks group on a comedy sketch as part of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!. He made several appearances on the short-lived 1990 edition of Match Game. He appeared in the series premiere of the short-lived 1991 sitcom Good Sports with Ryan O'Neal and Farrah Fawcett. He also impersonated Michael Jackson during the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards to accept the Best Alternative Music Video award on behalf of Nirvana.
He appeared at casino theaters in Las Vegas, Reno, and Atlantic City, as well as performing arts theaters, cruise ships, and private "in-concert" performances. He took part in a USO tour to entertain troops overseas, and was honored in 2004 by Club Italia with a Merit Achievement Award for his contributions to society. Also in 2004, he appeared on Bananas Comedy. He played radio DJ, "Madman Mancuso" in "The Buddy Holly Story."
In 2005 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Travalena was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2002 and prostate cancer in 2003. Following five years' remission, the lymphoma returned in 2008. Travelena died on June 28, 2009 at his home in Encino, California.
During his life, he and his wife credited his battle with cancer as a challenge of their faith in God and a way to help others overcome the same conditions.