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article imageKaye Stevens, singer, actress dead at 79

By Cynthia Trowbridge     Dec 31, 2011 in Entertainment
Kaye Stevens is dead at the age of 79. She had been a performer with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Joey Bishop with what was known as the Rat Pack.
Kaye Stevens died on Wednesday at the Villages Hospital north of Orlando following a battle with cancer and blood clots.
Stevens was born Catherine Louise Stephens on July 21, 1932 in Pittsburgh PA according to a handout by her friend Rhonda Glenn.
She began performing when she was 5-years-old. While in her teens she formed a trio after her family moved to Cleveland. She sang and played the drums.
While playing at The Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas she was discovered by Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson's sidekick. She was performing at the time in the main room while filling in for Debbie Reynolds who had become ill and was unable to perform.
Stevens performed with Bob Hope's USO tour for the American soldiers in the war zone during the Vietnam War. She gave out white gloves to the troops that were autographed by her. The glove would be their free ticket at one of her shows when they got back home.
She married now deceased bandleader and trumpet player Tommy Amato. They performed throughout the eastern United States.
Besides singing she also was an actress. She played in the film "The Interns" and its sequel, "The New Interns" as Didi Loomis. She also appeared in "The Diners Club" as well as "Jaws 3."
She was a regular celebrity player on game shows such as Hollywood Squares, To Tell the Truth and The Price is Right. From 1974-1979 she was also a regular on the TV soap opera "Days of Our Lives."
She became an alcoholic and her marriage ended in divorce.
She called a telephone counseling service called N-E-W-H-O-P-E in 1985 which changed her life when she found a new faith in Jesus and started her own ministry, The Kaye Stevens Ministry. From that time she only performed patriotic and Christian-themed music. She donated money to help build St.Vincent Catholic Church after which a park in Margate, Fla. was named in her honor.
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