Buddy Lester, longtime comedian and character actor whose seven decades in the entertainment business ranged from nightclubs to stage, film and TV appearances, died Friday Oct. 4 of cancer in Los Angeles. He was 86.Chicago native served in the Navy during World War II, then went onstage. As a nightclub performer, he opened for Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack in Las Vegas and appeared as a character actor in two of their films, “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Sergeants 3.” Additional film credits included “The Ladies’ Man,” “Three on a Couch,” “The Nutty Professor,” “The Patsy” and “The Big Mouth.” Lester was a ubiquitous presence on the small screen during the 1960s and ’70s including “Dragnet 1967,” “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C,” “That Girl,” “It Takes a Thief,” “The Odd Couple,” “Adam-12,” “Emergency!,” “Kojak,” “Barney Miller” and “Starsky and Hutch.” He is survived by a daughter, son, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
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