Played Cornelius Hackle in Broadway hit

Bill Mullikin, best known for his role as Cornelius Hackle in the Broadway hit “Hello Dolly,” died Saturday of Alzheimer’s disease in Santa Cruz, Calif. He was 83.

Mullikin played Hackle in more than 2,000 performances, touring the U.S. and Australia with such stars as Ginger Rogers, Phyllis Diller and Dorothy Lamour.

After serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII, the Baltimore native made his stage debut in the touring company of “South Pacific.” He was also featured in “The Baker’s Wife.”

Mullikin made his Broadway debut in the musical revue “New Faces of 1952,” sharing the stage over a two-year run with Eartha Kitt, Paul Lynde and Alice Ghostley. He was also featured in 20th Century Fox’s film adaptation of the same name. Other movie credits include “Hell Is for Heroes,” starring Steve McQueen, Bobby Darin, James Coburn and Bob Newhart.

Survivors include a son and a daughter.

Donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Assn. at alz.org or to Hospice of Santa Cruz County.

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