Iconic Singer and Actor Ed Ames Passes Away at 95, Leaving a Rich Legacy


Ed Ames, renowned for his mesmerizing voice and memorable roles in the entertainment industry, breathed his last at his Los Angeles residence at the age of 95. The former member of the popular Ames Brothers singing group and star of the 1960s television series ‘Daniel Boone’ leaves behind a legacy that spans decades.

Born on July 9, 1927, in Malden, Massachusetts, Ed Ames began his artistic journey in the world of music. Alongside his brothers Vic, Joe, and Gene, he achieved early success with their rendition of “Rag Mop” in 1950. As a solo artist, Ames captivated audiences with hits like “Who Will Answer?,” “My Cup Runneth Over,” and “Try to Remember.” Together, the Ames Brothers enjoyed fame with their syndicated TV program, ‘The Ames Brothers Show,’ and an impressive record of 49 charting songs before their disbandment in 1963.

Ames’s talent extended beyond music, as he ventured into acting and made notable appearances on Broadway. He graced productions such as ‘The Fantasticks,’ ‘The Crucible,’ and ‘Carnival.’ Notably, in the Broadway production of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ he shared the stage with acclaimed actors William Daniels, Kirk Douglas, and Gene Wilder.

In his memorable portrayal of Mingo on television, Ames mastered the art of tomahawk throwing, a skill that left an indelible mark on his career. One of his most iconic moments occurred on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson’ on April 27, 1965. Displaying his tomahawk expertise, Ames targeted a wooden panel featuring a cowboy outline, hitting the figure directly in the groin. Carson’s spontaneous quip, “I didn’t even know you were Jewish!” followed by “Welcome to Frontier Bris,” evoked a riotous response from the studio audience, resulting in a historic four-minute laugh.

While frequently cast as a Native American despite his Russian Jewish heritage, Ames showcased his versatility through guest appearances on popular shows like ‘The Rifleman,’ ‘McCloud,’ ‘Murder She Wrote,’ ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,’ and ‘Jake and the Fatman.’

Ed Ames is survived by his wife Jeanne, two children, Ronald and Sonya, seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and stepson Stephen Saviano. Sadly, his daughter Marcella predeceased him. With his undeniable talent and enduring contributions to the world of entertainment, Ed Ames leaves behind a rich and unforgettable legacy.


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