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Bill Dana
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    (October 5, 1924-June 15, 2017)
    Birth name is William Szathmary
    Best known for creating and portraying the Hispanic astronaut character José Jimenéz
    Head writer for 'The Steve Allen Show' (1956-60)
    Star of 'The Bill Dana Show' (1963-65)
    Portrayed Uncle Angelo in 7 episodes of 'The Golden Girls'
    Writer for the TV series 'All In The Family'
    Acted in the movies 'An Italian in America (1967),' 'I Wonder Who's Killing Her Now (1975),' 'The Nude Bomb (1980)' and 'Lena's Holiday (1991)'
    In the '60s, he was so entwined with his character he would often make guest appearances on TV shows as 'José Jimenéz' rather than 'Bill Dana.'
    He married for the first time at age 56.
    He is a decorated combat infantry vet who served in World War II.
    In a nod to the José Jimenéz character, the first words spoken from the ground to an American astronaut entering space (Deke Slayton to Alan Shepard, Jr.) were, 'Okay José, you're on your way,' on May 5, 1961 (Cinco de Mayo).
    José Jimenéz is enshrined at the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame (Titusville, FL).
    He wrote the Emmy Award winning 'Sammy Davis Visits Archie Bunker' episode of 'All In The Family.'
    He received an image award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition (1997).
    He got a lot of milage out of his José Jimenéz character.
    Trivia: There is a retired astronaut who worked at NASA for nearly 40 years named William Dana.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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