Comic actor Charles Nelson Reilly dies

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Comic actor Charles Nelson Reilly, a lauded Broadway performer and campy game show guest in the 1970s and 1980s, has died in Los Angeles, a representative for the actor said on Monday.

Reilly, one of the few openly gay performers of his generation, died of complications from pneumonia at a Los Angeles hospital overnight on Friday, Dawn Altyn, a spokeswoman for the actor's one-man show said.

Reilly's health had been declining for about a year, Altyn said. He was 76.

He last performed his autobiographical show, "Save It For the Stage: The Life of Reilly" in 2004, and a filmed version of the show is due to be released to theaters in October.

Reilly won a Tony Award in 1962 for his role in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and was nominated again in 1964 for "Hello, Dolly!" and in 1997 for directing "The Gin Game."

He also received multiple Emmy Award nominations over his five-decade television career, but it was his lengthy turn as a game show panelist on "The Match Game" and "Hollywood Squares" that made him a pop culture fixture.

The bespectacled, pipe-smoking actor cruised the edge of 1970s TV propriety with his double-entendres about his openly gay persona. He later speculated that being a game show panelist had hurt his acting career.

He also was known for his roles in the 1970s in two children's programs, "Lidsville" and "Uncle Croc's Block" and the TV series "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir."

In the early 1990s, he directed several episodes of the TV series "Evening Shade," and in the past few years performed the voice of The Dirty Bubble for the hit cartoon series "SpongeBob SquarePants."

The Bronx-born Reilly is survived by his longtime partner, Patrick Hughes.
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