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Obituaries : PASSINGS / Jack Kissell

Character actor, AA fixture in L.A.

November 19, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Jack Kissell, 79, a character actor who was well known in the Alcoholics Anonymous movement in Los Angeles, died Nov. 12 at the Little Company of Mary Transitional Care Center in Torrance, his family said. He had Alzheimer's disease and cancer.

Kissell had small parts on television, including appearances on the sitcom "Life With Bonnie," and in local theater productions.

Born Sept. 24, 1930, Kissell grew up in South Bend, Ind., and graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1952.

After serving in the Army, he met his future wife, Jean, and they married and started a family.

He became a high school drama teacher in New Rochelle, N.Y., and an English professor at Ohio Northern University before moving to California in the late 1960s.

Kissell turned to AA in 1971.

Although those who work in the recovery movement generally maintain anonymity, he was a familiar figure and sponsor in the community.

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