Legendary actress, comedian, singer, and all around entertainer Kaye Ballard passed away at the age of 93.
Friend of Kaye, Marguerite Gordon, says Ballard died Monday night at her home in Rancho Mirage.
Ballard had been fighting kidney cancer, Gordon said Tuesday.
A boisterous comedian and singer as well as an actress, Ballard appeared in Broadway musicals and nightclubs from New York to Las Vegas.
She starred with Eve Arden in the 1960s sitcom “The Mothers-In-Law.” The series marked a high point in a career that began when Ballard was 12 and lasted into the 21st century.
A documentary on Ballard’s life and career premiered at the Palm Springs International Film Festival last week.
Ballard was a long-time Coachella Valley resident, awarded a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in 1995.
Rising to fame in the 1940s, Ballard showcased her wide display of talents from playing broad physical comedy to stand-up routines, and working her way into television and stage productions.
In 1954, she was the first person to record “Fly Me To The Moon,” which was frequently used and later recorded again by Frank Sinatra.
McCallum Theater President and CEO Mitch Gershenfeld issued the following statement following her death:
McCallum Theatre mourns the loss of legendary performer Kaye Ballard who first appeared at the Theatre in 1991. Most recently, we invited her to attend a performance of “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” in 2017. As the actress who brilliantly originated the role of one of the wicked stepsisters on television, we knew it would be a thrill for the cast members to meet Kaye. It turned out to be a thrill for both the cast and for Kaye. She was a delightful, one-of-a-kind artist and she will be deeply missed by the Valley community and the entire entertainment world.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, January 30th, at Sacred Heart Church in Palm Desert. Monsignor Howard Lincoln will preside over the service. Public is welcome to attend.