Actor, musician Reggie Leon Battise dies


Reggie Leon Battise, an actor, choreographer and member of throwback rock 'n' roll group Sha Na Na for more than two decades, died Oct. 8 from prostate cancer in Los Angeles. He was 55.

Battise played bass with Sha Na Na since the late 1980s after touring as a member of the rock band the Bus Boys as Reggie Leon.

Battise also served as a principal dancer in the film "Stayin' Alive" (1983) with John Travolta, helped with the soundtrack of "Glory" (1989), was an actor and script consultant on "White Men Can't Jump" (1992) and appeared on the ABC series "Moonlighting."

At age 20, Battise was a TV celebrity in his hometown of Chicago, hosting "Dancing With Robyn" and "Reggie," and was a member of the 42nd Street Dance Company, appearing in "Gotta Dance" throughout the city.

After moving to Los Angeles and his stint with the Bus Boys, Battise toured Europe with the Houston Grand Opera's "Porgy and Bess" and co-hosted "Fantastico," a TV variety show in Rome on which he sang in three languages.

Survivors include his son, Brando Battise; his mother, Comella Smith; a sister, Wendy Nelson; brother Randall Smith; a brother-in-law, Patrick Nelson; and nephews and nieces Patrick Nelson, Chase Nelson, Marcus Smith, Kisonah Smith and Randi Smith.

A private memorial service will be held. The family has set up a college fund for his son, and donations may be made to Brando Battise c/o Di Moda Public Relations in Beverly Hills.
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