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Alice R. Gobel, Widow of Comedian, Dies


ENCINO — Alice R. Gobel, the widow of comedian George Gobel, has died.

Gobel died Monday of complications from heart surgery at Encino Hospital, her family said. She was 76.

High school sweethearts, the Gobels moved to California from Chicago in 1953, when George--a staple on the nation's nightclub circuit--was offered his own television show. They lived in Sherman Oaks before moving permanently to Encino in 1961.

"The George Gobel Show," which began airing in 1954, featured a character named Spooky Old Alice, who, as Gobel's wife and chief nemesis, provided a great deal of the show's humor. The real Alice was just the opposite, according to the Gobels' longtime publicist and friend, Sam Honigberg.

"She was a very private person who had no interest in show business," said Honigberg, who compared the Emmy-winning show to "Seinfeld" in terms of ratings and popularity.

"She kind of sat back and watched the world. . . . She didn't even like to have her picture taken, which was nice because George was a ham," added her son, Gregg Gobel of Palm Desert.

Gobel is also survived by two daughters, Georgia Bryan of Palos Verdes and Leslie McIntosh of Palmdale, and three grandchildren.

Visitation will be Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. at Praiswater-Meyer-Mitchell Mortuary Chapel, 5940 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys. A rosary will be said at 7 p.m.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Cyril's Catholic Church, 15520 Ventura Blvd., Encino, with interment to follow at San Fernando Mission Cemetery, 11160 Stranwood Ave., Mission Hills.

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