AKA Bernard Rich
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
Location of death: Los Angeles, CA
Cause of death: Cancer - Brain
Remains: Buried, Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, CA
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Legendary drummer
Born to vaudevillian actors, Buddy Rich went on to become one of the best-known drummers in the world, regardless of never having any formal training on the instrument. He began his public life as part of his parent's act and, before changing over to his music career, was one of the highest-paid child entertainers of his time. The change took place in 1937, with Rich joining Tommy Dorsey's band in 1939 before moving on to establish a band of his own in 1946.
As the days of the Big Band were fading, Rich temporarily turned in his hat as a bandleader to participate in the Jazz at the Philharmonic events alongside fellow drummer Gene Krupa. He worked with both Tommy Dorsey's and Harry James' orchestras throughout the 50s and 60s before deciding to lead his own band again in 1966. During this period, Rich opened two nightclubs (Buddy's Place and Buddy's Place II) in which he would regularly perform, as well as continuing to tour the world. Throughout the remainder of his life, he maintained his reputation as an extraordinary player -- and also as an extraordinarily difficult personality, as has been revealed in several behind-the-scenes recordings leaked to the public.
Father: Robert Rich
Wife: Marie Allison (showgirl, m. 1952, one daughter)
Daughter: Cathy (b. 1954)
Drug Possession: Marijuana 30-Nov-1973 (Australia, charges dropped)
Paralyzed left side (1987)
Brain Surgery UCLA Medical Center (Mar-1987)
Brain Seizure (Apr-1987)
Risk Factors: Smoking, Marijuana
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