R.I.P. Warren Berlinger, frequent Happy Days guest star and Joey Bishop Show funnyman

He memorably received a heart transplant on 'Emergency!' and raced in 'The Cannonball Run.'

Some sources erroneously note that Warren Berlinger was the nephew of Milton Berle, who born Mendel Berlinger in Harlem. While Warren was born just over the river in Brooklyn, it seems that he only shared a sense of humor, Big Apple roots, and Jewish heritage with Milton.

Berlinger had a particular knack for military comedy. The actor's breakout role came in the 1960 film The Wackiest Ship in the Army. He played Radioman 2nd Class A.J. Sparks, alongside stars Jack Lemmon and Ricky Nelson. In the late 1970s, Berlinger once again enlisted in a lighthearted Navy comedy, the TV series Operation Petticoat. He was even a laughter-eliciting Marine on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., as an expectant father in "Proxy Poppas."

Even Happy Days cast Berlinger as a comedic military man, a short-tempered sergeant barking orders at the Fonz in "The Physical." It was one of five appearances on Happy Days for the actor, as he also played a DJ, a movie director, a doctor, and an ad man on the series.

Berlinger had several starring roles on sitcoms of his own. He was the brother of Joey Bishop and sister of Marlo Thomas on The Joey Bishop Show (1961). The Funny Side, an ensemble series poking fun at marital tropes, cast him as the generic "Blue-Collar Husband." He was the son of Shirley Booth (Hazel) in her short-lived series A Touch of Grace.

MeTV fans might know Berlinger best for two particularly small but memorable roles. He rode a motorcycle with Bert Convy in The Cannonball Run. And on Emergency!, he turned up as a heart-transplant patient in "The Inspection."

A regular on Broadway, as well, Berlinger passed away on December 2, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 83.

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Johnny6GunsCarson 42 months ago
Growing up as NYC Jew always meant you had work in Hollywood ... all you had to say was "you know me I'm from the old neighborhood" and you had a job.
Wiseguy 43 months ago
"Some sources erroneously note that Warren Berlinger was the nephew of Milton Berle, who born Mendel Berlinger in Harlem."

who born?
MikefromJersey 43 months ago
I was a kid when Warren played Oscar Kilroy in a Disney TV movie cut up into 4 episodes.
We liked him so much we named our new cat Oscar after him. At that time people still
would write the graffiti "Kilroy was here" on walls and me being a dumb kid I thought they
were referring to Berlinger's character. For years I thought that! I later found out that US
soldiers in WW2 wrote "Kilroy was here" on town walls from North Africa to the South Pacific
to Japan to Germany. RIP Warren from all counts you were a truly nice man, a mensch as my
buddy used to say.
Daniel7a5 43 months ago
You failed to mention that he co-starred with Patty Duke, Jim Backus as well as many other now well known character actors as Mike Benson, fellow high school track team member and love interest of the title character (played by Duke) in the 1965 movie 'Billie'. (1960's Trivia Question~What song by Patty Duke was featured in both TV's 'The Patty Duke Show' (1963-66) and the 1965 film 'Billie' starring Duke? Answer~Funny Little Butterflies. [This song can be found on the 2004 album 'The Patty Duke Collection']).
43 months ago
I remember his humerous sitcom, called "Warren." He played an Archie Bunker type.
LativaDavis 43 months ago
Abby Dalton who played the wife on The Joey Bishop show died on November 30th
MikefromJersey LativaDavis 43 months ago
I am sorry to hear that Lativa. Antenna TV runs the Joey Bishop Show, an overlooked gem, but they butcher the endings for commercials, content ending at the 24 minute mark. Thank you for alerting us about Abby.
TheDavBow3 43 months ago
Ohhhh, so sad to hear 😪. I always liked the characters he played.
TheDavBow3 TheDavBow3 43 months ago
I liked him with Elvis in "Spin Out" and even his small part in "That Thing You Do"
PortelaJ TheDavBow3 42 months ago
I enjoyed his role in Spinout also. Funny man. RIP.
Lantern 43 months ago
He was the sister of Marlo Thomas' character?
cperrynaples Lantern 43 months ago
Yep, just like Ellen Page, he was nonbinary...LOL! Sloppy post, MeTV!
coffeecup 43 months ago
I too like the first season format.
rycki1138 43 months ago
He also played the best friend of Ted Knight's character Henry Rush on Too Close For Comfort. He's the second Joey Bishop Show actor to die in the past week and a half. Abby Dalton died last week a few days before Thanksgiving. They were both on the show, but not at the same time. Berlinger was in the first season and Abby Dalton was in seasons 2-4 after they changed the format of the show. I actually preferred the original format from the first season.
cperrynaples rycki1138 43 months ago
Sad News: This means that Marlo Thomas is the last survivor of TJBS!
justjeff cperrynaples 43 months ago
Yes... unfortunately time is the great equalizer...
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