‘Laugh-In’ Regular Alan Sues Dies at 85

The actor was known for his over-the-top characters, including Uncle Al the Kiddies’ Pal and the flamboyant sportscaster Big Al

Alan Sues, a regular on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh In" known for playing the flamboyant sportscaster Big Al, died Thursday night while watching television. He was 85 and apparently suffered a heart attack at his home in West Hollywood.

Sues appeared on "Laugh-In" from 1968 to 1972. In addition to playing Big Al, he frequently portrayed the character Uncle Al the Kiddies' Pal, the always hung-over children's show host.

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During his "Laugh-In" years, he also was a spokesman for Peter Pan Peanut Butter, appearing in print and broadcast ads as a campy Peter.

He developed many of the characters he portrayed on "Laugh-In" for a vaudeville act that he and his then-wife, the dancer Phyllis Gehrig, toured across the country.

Although Sues (pictured right with "Laugh-In" regular Arte Johnson) was best known for his work on "Laugh-In," he also enjoyed a Broadway career. He performed in "Tea and Sympathy" from 1953 to 1955, and as Moriarty in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 1975 revival of "Sherlock Holmes."

He was born in Ross, Calif., and served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

After his military service, he used the G.I. Bill to study theater at the Pasadena Playhouse before heading to Broadway for "Tea and Sympathy."

He performed standup comedy at the Manhattan clubs Rueben Bleu and Blue Angel and, in the late 1960s, appeared Off Broadway in the review "The Mad Show," which led to him being cast in "Laugh-In."

He and his wife divorced in the 1950s.

Sues is survived by a sister-in-law, two nieces and a nephew.