Photo: James Kriegsmann

1950’s Teen Idol Bobby Rydell: Dead At 79

Teen idol in the 1950s and 60s who starred in several movies and recorded dozens of hits, Rock n’ Roll singer and actor Bobby Rydell, has died at the age of 79.

Rydell rose to fame in 1950 as an entertainer on Paul Whiteman’s television show “Teen Club” and in 1959, his single “Kissin’ Time,” landed on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart that launched him into super-stardom.

Selling more than 25,000,000 albums and scoring 34 pop singles, Rydell made his film debut in the 1963 hit musical movie Bye Bye Birdie featuring Ann Margaret and later went on to star in several movies, television series and comedy shows throughout his career.

Born Robert Louis Ridarelli on April 26, 1942 in Philadelphia (where a street is named after him), Bobby made multiple appearances on Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand” and was the high school namesake in the iconic 1978 movie “Grease” a 1950’s-era musical teen love story.

In his biography, “Teen Idol on the Rocks: A Tale of Second Chances,” Rydell detailed his struggle with alcohol and depression following the death of his first wife and through a double organ transplant he received in 2012.

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: James Kriegsmann