Comic Bill Dana, who won fame as 'Jose Jimenez,' dies at 92

FILE - In this Oct. 4, 1990 file photo, Bill Dana appears in Beverly Hills, Calif. Dana, a comedy writer and performer who won stardom in the 1950s and '60s with his character Jose Jimenez, has died. He died Thursday, June 15, 2017, at his home in Nashville, Tenn., according to Emerson College, his alma mater. He was 92. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)

NEW YORK (AP) - Comedy writer and performer Bill Dana, who won stardom in the 1950s and '60s with his character Jose Jimenez, has died.

Dana died Thursday at his home in Nashville, Tennessee, according to Emerson College, his alma mater. He was 92.

Early in his career, Dana wrote jokes for Don Adams and Steve Allen, on whose show he served as head writer and a member of the performing troupe.

Born William Szathmary and a Massachusetts native of Hungarian-Jewish descent, Dana first appeared as Mexican immigrant Jimenez in a 1959 edition of "The Steve Allen Show." It was for one of the show's "Man on the Street" interviews conducted by fellow cast member Pat Harrington Jr.

Introducing himself in broken English, "Jose Jimenez" cracked up the studio audience and convinced Dana that he had a hit on his hands.

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