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Actor/singer Bobby Rydell has passed away at the age of 79. His representatives stated he died on April 5, 2022. He was a 1960s teen idol known for his role in “Bye Bye Birdie” and hits like “Wild One.”
He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 26, 1942. His name at birth was Robert Ridarelli. At 9 years old he made his first stage debut as a professional drummer. By the age of 19, he was a polished performer. Rydell was the youngest artist to headline the Copacabana in New York City, New York.
Throughout his recording career, Rydell earned 34 Top 40 hits which placed him in the Top 5 artists of his era, according to Billboard Magazine. Some of his million-selling singles include “Volare,” “We Got Love,” “Kissin’ Time,” ” Swingin’ School,” Wildwood Days,” and “Forget Him.” All together these songs sold over 25 million records.
His influence on music has been profound. Producers of the musical “Grease” wanted to pay tribute to him so they named the high school “Rydell High.”
He was married to Camille Carmella Quattrone from Oct. 5, 1968, until her death in September 2003. They had two children together. On Jan. 17, 2009, he married Linda J. Hoffman. They were still together when he passed away.
In 1995, his hometown named the street he was born on “Bobby Rydell Boulevard.” The City of Philadelphia sponsored a block party after the street dedication ceremonies. In appreciation of his massive hit “Wildwood Days;” Wildwood, New Jersey named a street after him as well.
On July 9, 2012, Rydell gained a new lease on life when he received 75% of a liver and one kidney. A generous family of a dying child donated organs and saved eight lives.
Six months later, the singer was back on stage in Las Vegas.
He dedicated his life to bringing public awareness about the Gift of Life through organ donations.
According to his website, Rydell had performed over 700 shows in the must-see production called “The Golden Boys.” This show is a fun-filled glance at a simpler time in music history with his childhood pals, Frankie Avalon and Fabian.
He is survived by his wife, son Robert Ridarelli, daughter Jennifer Dulin, and his five grandchildren. May he rest in peace.
Written by Sheena Robertson
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